World Cup marred by 'significant' sexism on the streets

World Cup marred by 'significant' sexism on the streets
Vehicles drive along New Arbat street, with the logo of the soccer World Cup displayed on buildings, in Moscow. Reuters

Moscow: The World Cup has been marred by an estimated 300 cases of sexism on the streets tarnishing an otherwise positive tournament, the head of an anti-discrimination group said on Tuesday.

Piara Powar, the head of the FARE network which monitors discrimination in European soccer and has been working with FIFA, said the victims had included Russian women harassed by fans and television reporters who had been accosted while broadcasting.

"It's been a largely positive experience and there haven't been a great deal of incidents of the type we expected," Powar told reporters, referring to pre-tournament fears of racism and homophobia.

"The only thing we have really flagged up which has been significant has been the level of sexism which has been encountered by some women, often Russian women who have been confronted by fans," he said.

"We have identified 30 cases where we can point to fans involved in acts of sexism on the streets - that's clearly an underestimate, the real figure is probably that times 10."

He added there had been around 30 cases of reporters who had been accosted on air.

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