Latin America & Caribbean

Russia World Cup: Argentina 'flirting manual' panned

15/04/2018 Reuters Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The manual was issued to journalists, coaches and officials heading to the World Cup in Russia

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) has been panned for including a chapter about "how to stand a chance with a Russian girl" in a manual it handed to journalists travelling to the World Cup in Russia.

It recommended that journalists "look clean, smell nice and dress well" in order to impress Russian "girls".

It also urged them to treat women as "someone of worth".

The advice caused an outcry on social media and the AFA has since removed it.

The association apologised and said that an internal investigation had found that part of the material was "printed by mistake".

The controversy comes just months after the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, saw the biggest women's march in Latin America with protesters decrying rampant sexism and demanding an end to violence against women.

'Don't ask stupid questions about sex'

Argentine journalist Nacho Catullo said he was among the dozens of reporters and football officials attending a free course on Russian language and culture held by the AFA for those travelling to the World Cup in Russia.

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On his Twitter account he described (in Spanish) how they were handed a manual in which the chapter on "how to stand a chance with a Russian girl" featured.

He tweeted photos of the chapter which started being shared and mocked on the internet as the course was still going on.

According to Catullo, officials then interrupted the course, collecting the manuals only to return them with the controversial pages torn out.

The advice is divided into eight sections and goes straight to the point.

"Because Russian women are beautiful, many men just want to sleep with them," it suggests high up.

"Maybe they want that too, but they are also persons who want to feel important and unique.

"Don't ask stupid questions about sex. For Russians, sex is something very private and not discussed in public."

'Take the initiative'

It also urges Argentine men to start preparing early: "Russian women like men who take the initiative, if you're not self-confident then you need to start practicing talking to women."

To those Argentine men still doubting themselves it offers encouragement: "Remember that many [Russian women] don't know much about your country, you're new and different, this is your advantage over Russian men."

Finally, it urges men to be choosey and to concentrate on those Russian women with whom they may stand a chance.

"Normally, Russian women care about the important things but of course you'll also find those who just care about material things, money or whether you're handsome, you name it. But don't worry, there are many beautiful women in Russia and not all are for you. Be selective!"

Sources in the AFA told local media that the controversial chapter had been lifted from a blog on the internet. It is not yet clear who decided to include it in the manual.

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