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Alexei Smertin takes Russian anti-racism role despite earlier controversy

Alexei Smertin has said he wants Russia to be 'an example of global tolerance.'

Alexei Smertin has been put in charge of investigating football racism in Russia, despite having previously appeared to deny its existence.

Smertin said his new role as the Russian Football Union's anti-racism and discrimination inspector meant he would "put every effort into keeping racism and discrimination out of the story of football in my country."

In a statement on the Russian Federation state official website, he added: "Ahead of the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup, Russia, as...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA president Gianni Infantino not worried about World Cup violence

Gab Marcotti joins Alison Bender to discuss if the future of the Confederations Cup is in jeopardy.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he is "not concerned" about the possibility of violence at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Infantino was speaking during a visit to 2022 tournament hosts Qatar, during which he also said the 2026 World Cup could be co-hosted by three or four countries using four or five grounds each.

He was asked about the threat of violence after flashpoints involving Russian supporters, including one in which England fans were injured in clashes in Marseille, marred Euro...

Russian hooligans warn England fans over 2018 World Cup violence

Gab Marcotti joins Alison Bender to discuss if the future of the Confederations Cup is in jeopardy.

Russian hooligans have warned England fans that they are "100 percent guaranteed'' to be targeted at the 2018 World Cup.

There were scenes of violence at Euro 2016 as supporters of the two countries clashed, with two England fans left in a critical condition after three days of violence in Marseille while a group of Russian fans charged at England supporters inside the Stade Velodrome.

Speaking to a BBC documentary, Russia's Hooligan Army, a hooligan known as "Vasily the Killer" was quoted in the...

Public get first look at St. Petersburg World Cup venue Zenit Arena

Zenit arena wide view 170211
The Russian public got a first glimpse of the futuristic looking new Zenit Arena, a venue for the 2018 World Cup in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- A Russian stadium built for the 2018 World Cup and dogged by problems has opened to the public with mixed reviews.

The 68,000-capacity stadium in St. Petersburg hosted 10,000 locals for a free extreme sports show designed to test the arena's "security system, logistics and other systems," according to deputy city governor Igor Albin.

The stadium has been almost a decade in construction and experienced repeated problems including worker deaths, soaring costs, fraud investigations...

Russia increases 2018 World Cup budget by $325 million

Total spending by Russia for the 2018 World Cup has increased.

MOSCOW -- Russia has increased government spending on the 2018 World Cup by 19.1 billion rubles ($325 million) without explanation.

Total spending rises to 638.8bn rubles ($10.8bn), with all of the increase coming from federal budget funds, which now make up almost 55 percent of total spending.

The increase dwarfs previous attempts to cut costs by reducing the number of high-end hotels to be built and trimming expenses on other infrastructure.

There was no immediate comment by the World Cup organising...