FIFA Wants 2018 World Cup Coverage To Stop Focusing On Beautiful Women

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jul 12, 2018 10:34 PM EDT
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With sexism becoming a bigger problem at the World Cup, the football world governing body wants national broadcasters and its own TV production team to show fewer shots of attractive women in their broadcast.

According to FIFA diversity chief Federico Addiechi, the organization will meet with national broadcasters of World Cup games and its own TV production team to discuss the matter.

FIFA aired this concern during a panel discussion on diversity and anti-discrimination at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday after receiving advice from its anti-discrimination experts that sexism is an immediate cause for concern.

According to FIFA's anti-discrimination program in Russia, around 300 cases of sexism on the streets have been monitored. Of the 300, around 30 cases involved fans harassing female broadcasters while working, according to the Fare Network.

FIFA To Intervene With Broadcasters

Addiechi said this will not be the first time that FIFA intervened with broadcasters, adding that the body has made a move "on a case-by-case basis when some cases arose and they were pretty evident."

"Where there have been issues, FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee have been able to intervene. The mechanisms we had in place have enabled us to address these in the best possible way," Addiechi says.

Addiechi is hoping that in the future tournaments, television viewers worldwide will have a more respectful view of women during games.

Earlier, it was predicted that racism could be the main concern in the World Cup due to issues in Russian soccer with other European fan bases. However, Fare director Piara Powar said that this has not been the case.

Sexism Main Concern In The World Cup

"Our experience has largely been a positive one," Powar says. "In general terms, I think we can all see that a World Cup is a special environment and a multi-national coming together."

"I think we've seen that played out and the Russian people have played a magnificent role in making people feel welcome," Powar added.

However, Powar said Fare has expressed concern over the treatment of female media workers and fans. Half of the 30 incidents involving female broadcasters, with some fans grabbing or kissing them while on air.

"Some women - often Russian women - and female reporters have found themselves accosted by fans," said Powar, estimating up to 10 times more unreported cases where Russian women were targeted.

Aside from Addiechi and Powar, others who attended the panel discussion were Alexey Smertin, Football Union of Russia's anti-discrimination officer, and FIFA legend Geremi Njitap, who played 118 caps for Cameroon.

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