DOHA/MOSCOW: Russian football has found itself some assistance from Qatar as it prepares to meet across-the-board security challenges ahead of its 2018 World Cup staging writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The Russian Football Premier League has contracted with the International Centre for Sport Security “to protect the country’s top football division from emerging threats to the safety, security and integrity of sport.”

Integrity is the most intriguing theme because this would, presumably, includes intangibles such as Russian fans’ racism fringe – whose existence is persistently denied by top officials from Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko downward.

After four years of development this is a coup for ICSS which has ranged far and wide within its founding remit to find such a specific and a high-visibility contractual role within international sport.

Training programmes

A statement from ICSS said it would be working with the league “on events, initiatives and training programmes which will enhance sport safety, security and integrity in Russia and protect RFPL officials, coaches, players and young athletes around the country.”

League president Sergey Pryadkin said: “The Premier League is continuously working hard for the implementation of international best practices to ensure the safety and comfort of all participants in the Russian Championship. The signing of a cooperation agreement with the ICSS for us is an important step in this direction”.

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