MOSCOW — Sexism has been a bigger problem than racism at the World Cup in Russia, according to anti-discrimination experts advising FIFA, which wants fewer images of attractive women in World Cup stadiums shown on future broadcasts.
FIFA diversity chief Federico Addiechi says soccer's world body will talk with national broadcasters and its own TV production team.
The subject arose Wednesday in a review of FIFA's anti-discrimination program in Russia. Monitors identified sexist incidents including fans harassing female broadcasters as having been a bigger problem so far than acts of racism. Fans harassing female broadcasters while they worked are among about 30 cases of "sexism on the streets" reported to FIFA by the Fare network.
Analyzing the World Cup's issues at a briefing Wednesday, the head of FIFA's diversity program also acknowledged wanting fewer images of attractive women in stadiums to be shown on future broadcasts. Federico Addiechi — FIFA's head of social sustainability and diversity — said FIFA plans to talk with national broadcasters and its own TV production team about the issue.
Racism was predicted to be the main World Cup problem because of longstanding issues in Russian soccer and other European fan bases.
"There haven't been a great deal of incidents of the type we expected," Fare director Piara Powar said, praising Russian people who "played a magnificent role making people feel welcome."
Instead, soccer's treatment of female media workers and fans provoked debate.
Powar said about half of those reported incidents involved female broadcasters being "accosted while on air." He estimated up to 10 times more unreported cases where Russian women were targeted.