While most of the negative attention surrounding future World Cups has been centered on Qatar, the location of the 2022 World Cup, an issue regarding Kazan — a host city for the 2018 World Cup in Russia — has arisen. According to an article posted by the Associated Press, Kazan police allegedly singled out female fans at a Russian Premier League game and forced them to undergo strip searches that lasted up to 10 minutes.
From the article that was posted on ESPN:
Several Spartak Moscow fans say police refused to allow female fans into the stadium for Friday’s match against Rubin Kazan unless they complied.
In a widely read blog post in Russia, fan Ekaterina Stepanova wrote of the ‘humiliation’ in which female fans were singled out and ‘required to strip, and that includes being demanded to remove their underwear’ for a search lasting up to 10 minutes.”
Kazan is located 450 miles from Moscow and is one of 11 host cities for the 2018 World Cup.
According to the article, the Russian Premier League has attempted to swap out police for “trained stewards” from each soccer club, but police have resisted this call for change.
Kazan police claim that searches were only performed on those who were thought to be carrying contraband. Either way, this isn’t a good look for FIFA and the 2018 World Cup.