FIFA dissolves anti-racism task force after “fulfilling its temporary mission”

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FIFA dissolves anti-racism task force after “fulfilling its temporary mission”

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SportsCafe Desk

09/26/2016

Despite growing concerns about racism in Russia ahead of the upcoming 2018 World Cup, FIFA has disbanded its anti-racism task force. The task force was established in 2013 by the then FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and it has been largely ineffective under its new chairman Constant Omari.

"I wish I could say that I am shocked by the decision, but unfortunately I am not.

"The problem of racism in football remains a burning, very serious and topical one, which need continuous attention.

"I personally think there remained a lot of very serious work for the task force to have done  the 2018 World Cup in Russia being one such matter. But it is evident the FIFA administration takes a different position," task force member Osasu Obayiuwana told Skysports on Sunday.

The task force was initially headed by Jeffrey Webb, former FIFA vice president, who was arrested in 2015 as part of the American investigation into corruption in football. He was replaced last year by the Congolese Federation president Constant Omari, who also sits on FIFA's ruling council. However, the task force has remained largely inactive under his supervision.

"We never had a single meeting under his chairmanship. I wrote him, more than once, asking for when a meeting would be held. But I never received a reply from him," Obayiuwana said.

Obayiuwana, who is also a journalist and a lawyer, received a letter from Gerd Dembowski, FIFA's diversity and anti-discrimination manager, on Friday stating, "The FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination was set up with your help on a temporary basis to develop recommendations for FIFA.

"We are therefore delighted to inform you that all of the task force's recommendations have been implemented and all resulting projects are ongoing."

The task force members were also informed that FIFA might "solicit further advice, if required."

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