world newsFIFA urged to scrap Chechnya as World Cup base for Egypt

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The FARE Network, a football antidiscrimination group, also said Chechnya should not be used by FIFA. No matches at the World Cup in June and July are being staged in the volatile North Caucasus region, and FIFA defended the decision to include Grozny on the list of authorized bases for the finalists.

Host Russia is one of nine teams to be based around Moscow including reigning champion Germany.

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FIFA urged to scrap Chechnya as World Cup base for Egypt

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The choice of Grozny also means it is a long haul for Egypts team to its first match, against Uruguay, , kilometers , miles away in Yekaterinburg. Egypt, which has qualified for its first World Cup in years, playsSaudi Arabiaand Russia in the other games in Group A.

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FIFAs decision to use Grozny for a World Cup team camp is absolutely shocking and outrageous, Human Rights Watch associate director Jane Buchanan told The Associated Press. FIFA should reverse their decision and move the training camp to another city.

FIFAs decision will only legitimize the utterly abusive Kadyrov regime, she added. Its a complete disgrace that FIFA wants to be associated with Kadyrov.

The choice brings fresh attention both to Chechnyas efforts to recover from two separatist wars and to criticism last year of its alleged persecution of gay people and other human rights abuses under leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

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Buchanan, the author of a report on World Cup worker abuses in Russia, said Kadyrov runs Chechnya like his own fiefdom and commits human rights abuses with impunity.

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Nigeria ces an even longer trip than Egypt for its first match against Croatia, going from a base camp in the spa town of Essentuki to the Baltic exclave Kaliningrad , kilometers , miles away.

In a letter sent to activists in May, obtained by the AP on Friday, FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said the antiLGBT attacks in Chechnya were in sharp contradiction to the values of FIFA as an organization and we firmly condemn them.

There should be no doubt that FIFA condemns discrimination of any form, including discrimination based on ual orientation, FIFA said.

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FILE This is a Saturday, Oct. , file photo of Chechnyas regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov celebrates scoring against the Italian former players soccer team in Grozny, Russia. Egypt will be based at the World Cup in Chechnya with FIFA approving the cility despite the Russian regions leadership being criticized for widespread human rights violations and a crackdown on dissent. Egypt has selected a training cility in the Chechen capital Grozny for its first World Cup trip in years. AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev

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Kadyrov has relied on his feared security forces to stifle any dissent during a rule that has been marred by numerous reports of extrajudicial killings and torture. Human Rights Watch reported on Friday finding human rights defenders locked up on totally bogus charges and fleeing Chechnya for their lives in recent months.

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FIFAapprovedChechnyaas a World Cup base for Egypt and immediately met calls on Friday to reverse its decision in the ce of charges of human rights violations by the Russian regions strongman leader.

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We currently have no grounds to believe that the choice of the Egyptian FA to locate its base camp in Grozny will cause particular adverse human rights impacts, FIFA said in a statement to the AP. That said, FIFA will take appropriate measures in accordance with its human rights policy should this assessment change in the coming months.

FIFA urged to scrap Chechnya as World Cup base for Egypt

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The crackdown in Chechnya was not mentioned in November in the first report from FIFAs new human rights advisory board, which was eslished in response to condemnation of abuses linked to events staged by the governing body.

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World soccers governing body disclosed it was continuing to monitor the suiility of allowing a team to be based in the Chechen capital Grozny, which was selected by Egypt from a list of options presented to the World Cup finalists.

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