Good news out of FIFA headquarters: they've fixed racism in Russia! Declaring that their work was done, the governing body for world soccer and administrators of the 2018 World Cup in Russia disbanded their anti-racism task force. According to FIFA, that task force has "completely fulfilled its temporary mission" and "is hereby dissolved and no longer in operation."
The task force was originally run by former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, who was charged with racketeering during the United States Department of Justice's investigation into corruption in soccer. Webb has since been banned for life by FIFA. He was replaced by Constant Omari, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's FA, but he apparently didn't do much with that position.
"We never had a single meeting under his chairmanship," said Osasu Obayiuwana, a member of the task force who spoke to the Associated Press on Sunday. "I wrote him, more than once, asking for when a meeting would be held. But I never received a reply from him." Clearly, no one informed Mr. Obayiuwana that his services were no longer required because racism had been solved.
Russian soccer's most recent significant racist incident happened this month, when UEFA handed FC Rostov a partial stadium ban for racist behavior by fans. Last year, former Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong, then playing for Russian team Ufa, was involved in a high-profile incident in which he was shown a red card for reacting to racist abuse. Check out this piece by Miriti Murungi on how poorly that was handled and Russia's extensive recent history of sweeping racism under the rug while UEFA and FIFA let them get away with it.