MOSCOW - Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has dismissed fears that racism and hooliganism in domestic football are serious enough to mar the World Cup later this year.
"I do not think that we have racism on a scale that needs to be fought," Cherchesov told Brazil's Globo TV. "Hooligans? I have not seen any serious displays of it."
The Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) anti-discrimination network reported 89 racist and far-right incidents at Russian games in the 2016/17 season.
The problem became especially severe during the last decade as richer clubs began purchasing Brazilian and African players.
FARE noted there has been a more serious anti-racism campaign by Russian authorities in the run-up to the June 14-July 15 competition.