FIFA World Cup

Inclusion of ‘flirting guidelines’ in Argentine FA’s World Cup handbook heavily criticised

The handbook had a page titled ‘How to stand a chance with a Russian girl.’

Argentina’s Football Association (AFA) apologised on Wednesday for issuing a World Cup handbook featuring a section on how to flirt with Russian women, admitting to an “unintentional error” following the outcry.

Under a page entitled “How to stand a chance with a Russian girl?”, the manual highlighted that “Russian women don’t like to be treated as objects”.

“Lots of men, because Russian women are beautiful, just want to take them to bed. Maybe they want it too, but they are people who want to feel important and unique,” the handbook added.

“Lots of Russian women, like other women, pay close attention to if you are clean, smell good and are well dressed. The first impression is very important for them, pay attention to your image.”

These recommendations ahead of the June 14-July 15 tournament were passed on to a gathering of around 40 journalists during a course on Russian language and culture, and were then posted on social media.

Facing heavy criticism, the AFA later admitted this lesson in seduction was an “unintentional error”, and even though it was included in the manual, “it was never part of the training”.

In a statement, the AFA said it had led “an internal investigation in respect to yesterday’s events during the Russian language and culture course, and it has been concluded that the materials distributed were erroneously printed”.

“Administrative personnel removed the manuals immediately,” it added.

Claudio Presman, the head of the National Institute against Discrimation, Xenophobia and Racism, spoke out against the “sexist” content in the guidebook.

“We got in touch with the AFA to ask for explanations, this text is stigmatising for women,” he told the TN television channel.

The educational course held at AFA headquarters in Buenos Aires was intended for “executives, players, coaches and journalists who will be at the World Cup,” the federation said.

According to the course’s teacher, Eduardo Pennisi, in quotes published by Argentine daily Clarin, the AFA had “approved” the material a month ago.

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