FIFA introduces three-step anti-discrimination plans for Confederations Cup

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FIFA has introduced a three-step plan designed to stop discrimination during matches at the Confederations Cup in Russia.

Referees are to be given special authority to halt or even abandon games in the event of discriminatory behaviour.

There will also be specially trained 'match observers' who will be on hand to monitor fans from both teams and send any relevant evidence to FIFA's Disciplinary Committee for possible further action.

"For the first time in an official tournament, FIFA will use a three-step procedure in case of discriminatory incidents and also deploy anti-discrimination observers at all matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017," world football's governing body said in a statement.

"With this three-step procedure, referees will have the authority to first stop the match and request a public announcement to insist that the discriminatory behaviour cease, to then suspend the match until the behaviour stops following another warning announcement, and finally, if the behaviour still persists, to decide to abandon the match.

"The match observers are coordinated and trained by the Fare network, an organisation with a long track record of monitoring and fighting discrimination in football. Based on Fare's 'Global guide to discriminatory practices in football', the match observers will monitor the behaviour of fans from both teams, as well as any spectators who are not affiliated to a particular team playing in the match.

"Should any discriminatory incidents occur during a match, the evidence collected by the match observers will be forwarded to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for review and potential action. Furthermore, the match observers will support operational staff in resolving incidents of discrimination before and during the matches by being directly in touch with security personnel."

FIFA president Gianni Infantino described the measures as "ground-breaking changes in the global fight against discrimination that will mark the 2017 edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup".

Vitaly Mutko, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman, added: "We are pleased that Russia has been entrusted with the mission to become the first host country of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup to implement such initiatives with the aim of making world football better.

"This is a very honourable role and a big responsibility, and we are confident that the forthcoming Tournament of Champions will be held in an atmosphere of celebration and hospitality towards all guests and teams of the Confederations Cup."