FIFA: Racism could halt WC games

World Cup matches can and will be abandoned if there are incidents of racism, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said.

Host nation Russia has long had problems with racism in football, and there are fears the issue could raise its ugly head again during the tournament, which starts next Thursday.

Russia was fined US$30,400 last month by FIFA after France players were subject to racist abuse during a March friendly.

Commenting on the threat of racist abuse during games, Infantino said there would be “serious consequences” if any incidents occur.

“I wouldn’t say that we are concerned about discrimination, human rights and security but we take them very seriously, We have taken appropriate measure in the preparation process,” he said.

“We will have clear procedures in place, including a three-step process for referees who can stop, suspend or even abandon a match in case of discrimination.

“We have a monitoring system and then immediate sanctions if something happens.

“We obviously wish that doesn’t happen and everyone has been warned that if it happens there will be serious consequences.”

Concerned about the threat racism poses, England defender Danny Rose said on Wednesday that he has told his family not to travel to Russia to avoid being abused.