FIFA president Gianni Infantino has revealed that referees will have the authority to abandon matches at the World Cup if there are racist taunts and jibes during the games.
The history of racial abuse on players in Russia has raised fears that the tournament starting next week Thursday, could be marred by discrimination.
Most recently, the black players in the French squad were racially abused during the friendly game between Russia and France in St Petersburg, one of the host cities for the tournament. And the Russian Football Union was fined $38,500 by FIFA as a penalty.
In the same vein, England defender Danny Rose has told his family not to travel to avoid being racially abused. An idea that was supported by Gareth Southgate.
However, Infantino stated that there are measures put in place should anything occur and has warned of “serious consequences” if there are such issues.
He said: “I wouldn’t say that we are concerned about discrimination, human rights, and security but we take them very seriously, We have taken appropriate measure in the preparation process.
“We will have clear procedures in place, including a three-step process for referees who can stop, suspend or even abandon a match in case of discrimination.
“We have a monitoring system and then immediate sanctions if something happens.
“We obviously wish that doesn’t happen and everyone has been warned that if it happens, there will be serious consequences.”