The World Cup in Russia has largely been a peaceful and enjoyable affair so far with hundreds of thousands of fans mingling amiably and the football on the pitch generating most of the headlines.
However, a few low points have emerged in the last 24 hours.
Those include a female sports reporter being groped and kissed while filming a live broadcast. Colombian correspondent Julieth Gonzalez Theran was working for broadcaster DW Espanol when a man grabbed her breast and kissed her cheek.
Theran continued her report but has since addressed the incident online. “We do not deserve this treatment,” Gonzalez Theran said. “We are equally valuable and professional.”
The incident took place last week in the city of Saransk ahead of the Russia-Saudi Arabia game but has gone global in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Burger King Russia has been forced to apologize for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers and a cash prize to Russian women impregnated by World Cup players.
The campaign was hosted on VK — a Russian alternative to Facebook — but was pulled following widespread condemnation. The burger chain posted a Russian-language statement on VK saying “we offer apologies for the announcement we made. It was too offensive”.
In more positive news for gender equality, for the first time since 1979 Iranian women were allowed inside a soccer stadium to watch their team’s match against Spain last night. Female fans and families headed to the Azadi stadium in Tehran to watch the game on a big screen. The Iranian football team tweeted a photo of a young woman in the stands holding the national flag.
Thankfully, Russia 2018 has not seen any of the ugly skirmishes between Russian and English hooligans which blighted Euro 2016. On the whole, the tournament has been praised for its organization and safety.
That said, images have emerged in the last 24 hours of a handful of men — thought to be England fans — making Nazi salutes and singing anti-Semitic songs in a Volgograd bar earlier this week. The video is being investigated by police.
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