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Will Russia be the most controversial Football World Cup yet? 1 minute ago

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Russian fans set fire to seats at a football game. Credits: Image - Reuters, video - Newshub

OPINION: The first big controversy of the World Cup has already happened, with Spain sacking coach Julen Lopetegui just a day out from the tournament opener.

It seems a crazy move, just as Spain is about to embark on an assault on world supremacy, but such is the World Cup.

It may be the first, but most certainly not the last controversy in Russia. World Cups are a provocative beast and there are plenty of talking points to ponder before things kick off in Moscow on Friday (NZ time)

Can Russia host a World Cup that's racism free?

Right from the very moment the European country was awarded the rights to host football's greatest event, its dark history of hooliganism and discrimination was brought to light.

When Brazilian striker Hulk captained Russian side Zenit St Petersburg from 2012-16, he said he heard racist chants "almost every match".

It's no coincidence FIFA introduced a new three-step procedure at the 2017 Confederations Cup to help stop discrimination, as part of its 'Say No To Racism!' programme. It's........

© Newshub