FIFA & UEFA powerless to act on racist Russian flag
FIFA and UEFA say they cannot take action against the Russian Football Union’s failure to punish Lokomotiv Moscow for displaying racist banners.
Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrated Peter Odemwingie’s sale in the transfer window with a banner showing a banana and the message: “Thanks West Brom”.
But both FIFA and UEFA have released statements to BBC Sport saying that they do not have any authority to act. “Only the competition organiser can issue sanctions,” said FIFA.
The Russian Football Union’s (RFU) disciplinary body held a board meeting on 25 August, but opted not to fine Lokomotiv and the Russian Football Union’s director general Alexei Sorokin insisted that the banana banner was not “racist”.
“If it was a league match, the Russian FA would be responsible, and if it was a UEFA competition match, UEFA would be responsible,” added the FIFA statement.
UEFA issued a statement saying: “This issue does not come under UEFA’s jurisdiction, since it is, of course, up to the national associations to regulate and run their domestic leagues, including disciplinary matters.”
Asked whether Russia should be allowed to stage the 2018 World Cup given its failure to act over the banner, FIFA said: “It seems that you are making a statement/judgement, rather than posing a question.”
Russia is one of five bidders for the 2018 World Cup – with the winner due to be announced on 2 December.
From BBC Sport