Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2013 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, August 14, 2013
GENEVA---Fifa has asked author-
ities in 2018 World Cup host Russia
for "clarification and more details"
about a new anti-gay law, joining
the International Olympic Com-
mittee in seeking answers from
Legislation prohibiting "propa-
ganda of nontraditional sexual rela-
tions among minors" has provoked
an international furor since President
Vladimir Putin signed it off in June
and sparked growing concern at the
IOC ahead of the Sochi Winter
Games next February.
The two most influential organ-
isations in world sports are both now
asking Russia how the law would be
enforced during their marquee
"Fifa has asked the Russian
authorities for clarification and more
details on this new law," football s
governing body said in a statement
"Russia has committed to provide
all visitors and fans with a warm
welcome and ensure their safety"
during the monthlong tournament,
Fifa said, adding that "Fifa trusts
that the 2018 Fifa World Cup hosts
will deliver on this promise."
Fifa has a direct link to the Russian
government, as Sports Minister
Vitaly Mutko serves under Fifa pres-
ident Sepp Blatter on the football
body s 27-member executive board.
Mutko has said that Olympic ath-
letes would have to respect the coun-
try s laws during the February 7-23
Winter Games, and that international
reaction needed to "calm down."
Fifa noted in it s statement that
its statutes "foresee zero tolerance
Article 3 states: "Discrimination
of any kind against a country, private
person or group of people on account
of ethnic origin, gender, language,
religion, politics or any other reason
is strictly prohibited and punishable
by suspension or expulsion."
Russia was awarded World Cup
hosting rights in December 2010,
when Fifa s board chose it ahead of
England and joint bids from Spain-
Portugal and the Netherlands-Bel-
That same day in Zurich, Fifa
awarded hosting of the 2022 World
Cup to Qatar, where homosexual
acts are illegal.
Blatter drew criticism soon after
the World Cup votes when he sug-
gested that gay football fans could
"refrain from any sexual activities"
while attending the World Cup in
the Islamic Gulf nation.
In May, after Fifa member coun-
tries approved tougher sanctions for
discrimination, Blatter was asked by
reporters what gay fans and players
could expect in Qatar, and said that
he could not offer "a definite answer"
at this stage.
The potential effect on the Sochi
Olympics of Russia s attitude toward
gay rights is playing out during cam-
paigning for the six-man race to be
elected IOC president on September
10.On Monday, candidate CK Wu of
Taiwan said that "we are not joking"
with Russia, and suggested that
future bidders should be judged more
strictly on their human rights record
and follow the Olympic charter.
"This should become a basic qual-
ification if you want to apply to host
the games," Wu said. (AP)
LONDON---West Ham United
says it has completed the sign-
ing of England midfielder Stew-
art Downing from Liverpool on
a four-year contract.
The 29-year-old Downing,
who is West Ham s fifth summer
signing, says "it s a great oppor-
tunity for me being here. It s a
great club and I m really excited
to get going. I m ready and I m
fit for the first game against
Downing has played 34 times
for England and made 91 appear-
ances for Liverpool in his two
years at the club, where he won
the 2012 League Cup. West Ham
did not disclose financial details.
PARIS---Monaco has had a two-
point penalty lifted on appeal but
it will still have to play a home
game behind closed doors.
Monaco was deducted three
points (one suspended) and
ordered to play a game behind
closed doors after trouble flared
at its final home game last season
against Le Mans. The club s title
celebrations were marred by a
post-match pitch invasion, during
which the referee was attacked by
The club s appeal was heard on
Aug 7 and on Wednesday, the
French federation announced it
was removing the points deduc-
Monaco won its opening match
of the new season at Bordeaux 2-
ZURICH---Fifa says Switzer-
land midfielder Izet Hajrovic
has been cleared to switch inter-
national allegiance to his fam-
ily s native Bosnia-Herzegov-
The 22-year-old Hajrovic joins
his 20-year-old brother Sead, a
former Arsenal defender, in
changing after years of youth
international appearances for
Switzerland, where they were
Both opted for Bosnia as it
seeks to qualify for its first World
The former Yugoslav republic
leads its qualifying group by
three points from Greece with
four matches left.
Fifa rules allow Izet Hajrovic
to move because he never played
a competitive senior match for
He appeared as a late substi-
tute in 2-1 friendly win in
Tunisia last November.
The Hajrovic brothers were
reunited at Grasshoppers this
season, when Sead returned to
the Zurich club after a four-year
spell in England. (AP)
West Ham signs Downing
Monaco wins appeal,
2-point penalty lifted
Fifa clears Swiss-born
Hajrovic for Bosnia duty
Football body asks
W Cup host Russia to
explain anti-gay law
Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
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