RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - FIFA’s discrimination task force leader wants better prevention of “mocking and insulting” incidents at World Cup stadiums.
“We have to be more vigilant and more aggressive monitoring this situation,” FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “There is absolutely no reason why we should not.”
FIFA said Tuesday that stadium stewards have been given “additional training” to deal with incidents.
Still, FIFA and local organizers’ readiness to tackle issues in and around World Cup stadiums has been challenged.
After Germany fans were photographed wearing black face make-up at a match against Ghana, fans’ monitoring group Fare questioned how they got so far it into the stadium.
Fare also reported similar incidents involving France and Belgium supporters, and far-right banners displayed by Croatia, Germany and Russia fans.
Webb said such acts were “making a mockery and disrespecting another human being.”
“It amazes me,” said the Cayman Islands official, who is black. “We have so many regulations regarding stadiums and yet we will still allow them to enter.
“It is unfortunate we have put ourselves in a position to be criticized,” Webb said.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee has yet to announce any proceedings despite some incidents being reported more than a week ago.
The panel can act against the national federations, which are responsible for fans’ behavior inside stadiums.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil state President Dilma Rousseff have pledged that the World Cup would be a platform to tackle racism and discrimination.
Blatter created a racism task force last year in response to black players being abused by rival teams’ fans. He appointed Webb to lead the panel, which includes Fare executive director Piara Powar.