?FIFA are investigating claims that racist chants were aimed at the French side by the fans in the stands during their friendly against Russia in St Petersburg.
The French won the match 3-1 thanks to a Kylian Mbappe double and an astonishing Paul Pogba free kick. However, the scoreline looks now to be overshadowed by claims from a pitch side photographer that monkey chants were aimed at certain players, including when midfielder N’Golo Kante came to the sideline to take a corner.
FIFA have now released a statement (via ?The Guardian), stating: “FiFA is collecting the different match reports and potential evidence in regards to the discriminatory incident reported in the media, including the one from the Fare observer who was present at the game.”
This incident comes just three months before the World Cup which is scheduled to take place in Russia, with French sports minister Laura Flessel-Colovic taking to Twitter to express her reaction, claiming: “Racism has no place on soccer fields. We must act together at the European and international level to stop this intolerable behaviour.”
This is the second incident involving racism in Russia within the last week, with Zenit St. Petersburg subject to disciplinary proceedings with UEFA for racist chants during their Europa League clash against RB Leipzig last week.
Russia had previously pledged to crack down on racism in football before the World Cup – which kicks off on 14th June when Russia face Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the tournament – however, they could be line line to face severe sanctions against them just a matter of months before the big tournament begins.