MOSCOW, June 7 (Sputnik) - Matches and other FIFA World Cup events should be politically neutral and must not be used for political statements, FIFA's press service told Sputnik Thursday after world football's governing body banned a Russian singer's performance in one of the host cities.
On Wednesday, Russian singer Yulia Chicherina, who is known for her support of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk republics in Eastern Ukraine, said that FIFA had prohibited her to perform in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don during the World Cup.
Chicherina posted a photo of the letter from FIFA on her Facebook account, in which the organization refused the performance of her band at the FIFA Fan Fest in Rostov-on-Don adding that their military-themed songs could draw "negative media attention" and damage FIFA's reputation.
"FIFA is sure that every football event is a perfect opportunity to bring people closer together and strengthen mutual understanding. According to FIFA regulations, matches and related events must be politically neutral and should not be used by national associations, players, supporters or any other people as a platform for political statements," the press service said.
Russia will host its first FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15. The fixtures will be played at 12 stadiums across 11 cities, including Rostov-on-Don. The 45,000-seater Rostov Arena will host a total of five World Cup matches, including a round of 16 game on July 2.