SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The mayor of the Russian city of Sochi's has promised football fans there is no racism in the 2018 World Cup host city after FIFA denounced a parade featuring people in blackface.
The procession in the Black Sea resort featured costumes of the Confederations Cup participants ahead of the eight-team World Cup warm-up event.
One person was pictured wearing an afro-style wig and bananas on a string, while the other was wearing a Cameroon jersey and a headdress while holding a drum.
Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov accepts "we need to inform the residents of the city about what is unpleasant for different ethnicities."
But speaking through a translator, Pakhomov maintained that "there is no racism in Sochi because this is a city where many ethnicities live."