Snigdha Raju

Racism has been regarded to as the cancer of football for years now. It bubbles up under the surface before it erupts again.

Russian fans are said to be the most racist; chanting, imitating and provoking players. One of the recent incidents being racist and monkey chants against French Footballer, Paul Pogba; which were audible on TV Broadcast as well. As the countdown nears to the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, the players are cautious; while others claim to be intrepid.

England defender Danny Rose said he was "numb" to racial abuse and has "no faith" in the football authorities' "justice system". He has also told his family not to travel to Russia for cheering him on or otherwise.

Following these comments, Fifa has reiterated the action World Cup referees can take if they are alerted to racist chanting at matches. The world governing body says officials will follow a 'three-step' process - to stop, suspend or abandon games.

Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate said the "idealist" response would be for players to walk off the pitch, but added that it’s not desired response; as it would mean elimination from the tournament.

Players who walk off would be shown yellow cards, and teams would risk being excluded from the competition.

The Russian Football Union was recently fined £22,000 for racist chanting by fans during a friendly against France in March.

How the three-step process works:

· The referee will pause the match and make an announcement for the chanting to stop if it occurs.

· If the chanting persists, the referee can suspend the match, and make a final announcement for it to stop.

· If it continues to occur, the referee can abandon the match.

Every match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will also have three anti-discrimination observers in the stands, monitoring the behavior of fans, which was trialed during the World cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup matches.

International anti-discriminatory organizations are urging FIFA to take swift and effective action against the racist behavior as they believe delayed fines are not going to solve the fundamental problem that has taken root in the population; in order to provide the players with a protected and an anti-discriminatory environment to play the sport.