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England's 2018 World Cup rival Russia hit by race storm over banners targeting West Bromwich new boy Peter Odemwingie

By Sportsmail Reporter

Last updated at 3:44 PM on 25th August 2010

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Russia's bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been hit by a race storm.

Photographs have emerged of Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrating the sale of Peter Odemwingie to West Bromwich Albion by unveiling offensive banners.

One included just the image of a banana and said in English 'Thanks West Brom' following the Nigeria striker's departure. Another said: 'Peter, thanks that you're not with us.'

Lokomotiv Moscow fans taunt former player Peter Odemwingie following his sale to West Bromwich

Farewell: Lokomotiv Moscow fans taunt former player Odemwingie following his sale to West Bromwich

Russia are seen as England's biggest rival to hosting the 2018 World Cup and FIFA inspectors left Moscow just days before the banners were displayed.

Kevin Miles, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, told The Sun: 'I can't see how a country with that kind of prejudice can seriously be considered appropriate for the World Cup.'

Peter Odemwingie scored for West Bromwich against Sunderland

Dream debut: Odemwingie scored for West Bromwich against Sunderland at the weekend

Racism in Russia is well-known, and the depiction of a banana has obvious negative connotations, but Russian officials insisted there was another explanation for the banner.

A spokesman for the Russian embassy in London said: 'So far we don't see any reasons to dramatise this, since in Russian student slang "to get a banana" means to fail a test, and Odemwingie was seen by many fans in Moscow as not perhaps the best performer. But it's their own judgment.'

Odemwingie endured a difficult relationship with the Lokomotiv fans, who were disappointed by a modest return of 22 goals in 81 games after a hefty £7million move from Lille three years ago.

Earlier in the summer, supporters waved other banners telling the club to sell Odemwingie and last week he completed a £2.5m move to West Bromwich.

He said: 'My mother read out the banners to me thanking West Bromwich for buying me, which I of course do as well. For me, Lokomotiv are something more than a single group of fans in the stands, the vast majority of who don't know me as a person.

'I worked for the club for three years, side by side with dozens of people who didn't give me the same kind of feedback.

'So these caustic banners make me smile. But I say to those who made them, "I'll be happy to miss you!"'

Manchester City striker Jo has previously spoken of how he and his wife faced racial abuse when walking the streets of Moscow before his move to England two years ago.

The BBC reported a survey last year showing 60 per cent of black and African people in Moscow had been assaulted in racially motivated attacks.

FIFA inspectors visit Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium earlier this month as part of the World Cup bid

Scrutiny: FIFA inspectors visit Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium earlier this month as part of the World Cup bid

Attitudes outside of the capital can be even worse. For example, hardcore Zenit St Petersburg fans protested against the proposed signing of Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan last year, despite the Italy striker with Ghanaian roots being recognised as one of the most exciting teenagers in world football.

Balotelli has subsequently signed for Manchester City in a £23m deal, while Zenit have never bought a black player.

Fans in St Petersburg targeted Marseille players Ronald Zubar, Andre Ayew and Charles Kabhore for abuse during a 2008 UEFA Cup game, while Burnley defender Andre Bikey was subjected to sick chants during his time at Lokomotiv Moscow.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has spoken warmly of Russia's bid for the World Cup and said this week: 'You cannot deny Russia if they bid for something. They are more than a country. They are a big continent, a big power.'

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said: 'Racism has no place in football or sport in general. If there is evidence that it has taken place I'd hope the relevant authorities would take a tough line.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1305993/Englands-2018-World-Cup-rival-Russia-hit-race-storm-banners-targeting-West-Bromwich-new-boy-Peter-Odemwingie.html#ixzz0xdT7WhLO

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Remember when d*ck Advocate was managing Zenit and when asked about not being able to sign black players due to the fans he couldn't even respond back

Russia is f*cked

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Cunts. He made the right choice playing for Nigeria.

Di Matteo is making smart moves though. West Brom to stay up.

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d*ckheads.

Hope it does ruin their world cup bid.

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A spokesman for the Russian embassy in London said: 'So far we don't see any reasons to dramatise this, since in Russian student slang "to get a banana" means to fail a test, and Odemwingie was seen by many fans in Moscow as not perhaps the best performer. But it's their own judgment.'

lol

adding insult to injury

hope this contributes to the failure of there bid

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No wonder Bikey used to carry a gun when he was playing for Lokomotiv.

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has spoken warmly of Russia's bid for the World Cup and said this week: 'You cannot deny Russia if they bid for something. They are more than a country. They are a big continent, a big power.'

this is ominous,you know blatter is basically the emperor from star wars

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Russia are a big continent?!?

Okay then Sepp.

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A spokesman for the Russian embassy in London said: 'So far we don't see any reasons to dramatise this, since in Russian student slang "to get a banana" means to fail a test, and Odemwingie was seen by many fans in Moscow as not perhaps the best performer. But it's their own judgment.'

lol

adding insult to injury

hope this contributes to the failure of there bid

thats a sh*t excuse

whole thing is f*ckin disgraceful

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in some parts of russia people with dark features are called black

white people with dark features are reffered to as black people

lmao f*cked

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No wonder Bikey used to carry a gun when he was playing for Lokomotiv.

Just Google'd it, sounds f*cked.

When you have to resort to carrying a pistol for your own security, you know matters have got out of hand. Such was the level of abuse and threat that Andre Bikey suffered when playing for Lokomotiv Moscow that it rapidly became evident he needed a weapon for his own protection.

"I used to have a gun," he said. "But it was only for my protection. I had to buy one after some problems I had. When I moved to Reading I gave it to one of my friends in Moscow. There are things I want to forget about my time in Russia." It will hardly be reassuring for Chelsea and Manchester United's numerous black and Asian fans to hear how even a famous footballer and Moscow resident feared for his life when negotiating the streets at night.

"I'm a big guy and maybe you think you can fight people off when there is one, two or three people trying to attack you," the Cameroon international said. "But when it is six or seven you cannot do this. That is why I had to buy a gun.

"Russia has a different mentality. For a black person it is very hard to live in Russia, especially outside of Moscow. There is racism. In London it is much better: it is possible to walk along a street without problems."

Marc Bennetts, Russian football expert and author of Football Dynamo, stressed that it was important for black supporters not to get isolated after the game.

"They shouldn't walk around on their own at night in the outskirts of Moscow," he said. "There is racism, often violent, so supporters or not they should be aware of that."

Human rights groups believe between 41 and 57 people have been murdered by extreme right-wing groups in Russia this year, mostly in Moscow. Just last Thursday, eight men were sent to prison by Moscow City Court for a racially-motivated bombing campaign that claimed 14 lives.

In 2005 a Cameroonian student was murdered in St Petersburg and a year later a Senegalese student was killed by a shotgun engraved with swastikas. The same year a mixed-race girl, just nine, was stabbed in the neck and head but survived. When a Tajik girl, also nine, was stabbed to death by a gang of eight youths in 2004, they were charged with hooliganism.

Moscow, however, is a city that is rapidly changing. It has become increasingly cosmopolitan over recent years and attitudes are changing.

Football is a tremendous liberalising force and you only have to look to the adulation with which CSKA Moscow fans celebrate their two black Brazilian strikers, Vagner Love and Jo, to see that in action. It's a long way from 2001, when Jerry-Christian Tchuisse, a Cameroon defender who took Russian citizenship, was dropped from the national side before he could play a game, after pressure from right-wing groups.

Bikey himself was popular with the Lokomotiv supporters but found away trips difficult. "You would go on the pitch and as soon as the game starts you would begin to hear the fans saying bad things," he said. "It was not easy for me to hear those things. The police did not protect us. But the teams keep buying African players so I think things must change and they have over recent years. Maybe one day I will go back.

"I hope it will be OK on Wednesday night. There will not be Russian football fans at the game, just the English supporters so there will be no problem for the black players. And I hope there will be no problems for black people in Moscow."

After the despicable events that followed the Uefa Cup final last week, there will be understandable nervousness on the part of Uefa and the Russian officials. Reassuringly, Bennetts believes that so far there is no organised violence being planned by Russian hooligan groups.

He has been monitoring the various forums and chat rooms and has not come across any plans for organised violence.

"There are no plans to attack British fans, it seems," he said. Let us hope they are as resolved not to attack each other.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2300751/Andrey-Bikey-Why-I-carried-a-gun-in-Moscow.html

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Fifa need to force these football federations to issue tougher penalties/sanctions against clubs.

Advantage England 2018

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Just clocked this as well.

MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti) - Zenit St. Petersburg goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeyev has reiterated that the far rightwing views of the club's supporters make it impossible for the 2008 UEFA Cup winners to have a black player in the side.

"Baffour Gyan [a Ghanaian forward] once had a trial with us and I realized then that in a team where the fans hold right-wing views, it is unrealistic to have players from the Dark Continent," Malafeyev told this week's Russian Futbol magazine. "I still think that for this reason Zenit can't have a dark-skinned player."

Zenit made international headlines last year ahead of their UEFA Cup final against Glasgow Rangers when Zenit's Dutch trainer d*ck Advocaat reportedly gave an interview in which he said that the side's fans made it impossible for him to sign black players.

Zenit are the only major Russian side not to have had a black footballer.

Advocaat later said that he had been misquoted, and the club denied operating a racist selection policy. However, the accompanying dispute threatened to overshadow the match itself, which Zenit won 2-0.

Malafeyev also said that for him personally, a player's skin color was irrelevant. "The color of his skin, the amount of tattoos, pierced ears, navel or nipples, it makes no difference to me," he was quoted as saying by Futbol.

"Those people who consider Zenit a racist team should take into account that we have a lot of foreigners in the side," he added.

Players from South Korea, Turkey and Argentina turned out for Zenit last season, as well as a number of footballers from Eastern Europe.

Zenit captain Anatoliy Tymoshchuk also spoke out against racism at a UEFA-organized Unite Against Racism conference in Warsaw.

"We must not forget to show respect to players. It is of no importance what race the player is - what is important is what he can do on the pitch. We should show the utmost courtesy to people who live and play side-by-side with us," said Tymoshchuk, who is set to join German giants Bayern Munich this summer.

In a frank interview, Malafeyev also spoke about an encounter with a large group of aggressive Zenit fans at the side's training ground in 2002, a period during which the club could only dream of European success.

"It almost ended in a fight," he said, adding that the fans had sworn at them and said they cared more about the club than individual footballers. "The fans said, 'You lot come and go, but we are here forever.'"

"Lots of fans came [to the base], but they only let in exactly as many footballers as there were. In the end, the fans offered to fight us, saying 'whoever was stronger was right.'"

However Malafeyev said that the footballers, some of who were injured, eventually managed to avoid a brawl.

"I've never forgotten that meeting," he said. "You always remember bad things."

He also spoke of the hazing that had taken place in the team at the end of the 1990s.

"There were cases when people had their legs broken at training. This was considered normal back then, just like in the army. These days, soccer is a different game," he said

:o :o :o :o @ the highlighted

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Stabbed a 9 yr old girl in the neck

f*ck*ng animals

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lol at world cup 2018 in Russia

f*ck that...just f*ck f*ckt that

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Cunts. He made the right choice playing for Nigeria.

Di Matteo is making smart moves though. West Brom to stay up.

he's not russian anyway though, he was born in uzbekistan.

in some parts of russia people with dark features are called black

white people with dark features are reffered to as black people

lmao f*cked

not white people with dark features. just white people who aren't slavic, such as jews and armenians and people from the caucasus. but some non-whites are regarded as white eg tatars (i know they look white but they are ethnically related to turks, whereas people from the caucasus are actually caucasian like europeans and they are known as niggers)

/

you man don't know the half of it.

my dad had an old friend (an armenian) who was attacked in the street by neo-nazis. went to the police to report it, they beat the sh*t out of him and left him in a cell for 2 days over which time he permanently lost the sight in one of his eyes.

but i don't see why black people go to live in russia anyway tbh. they're not wanted, they have no connection to the place, and it's a notoriously racist country. they're just asking for trouble by going there imo. (NOT CONDONING WHAT HAPPENS TO MINORITIES IN RUSSIA)

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I found it quite strange given the racist view of the Russians that so many African refugees end up in Ukraine.

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duno why u guys are surprised, its russia. They hate muslims aswell.

I dont know why algerian goalie mbolhi is even considering going there, hes black and muslim.

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duno why u guys are surprised, its russia. They hate muslims aswell.

I dont know why algerian goalie mbolhi is even considering going there, hes black and muslim.

:lol: :lol:

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duno why u guys are surprised, its russia. They hate muslims aswell.

I dont know why algerian goalie mbolhi is even considering going there, hes black and muslim.

it's not like everybody in russia is a neo-nazi skinhead though

it's an extremely ethnically diverse country (much more than the uk) and there's a lot of middle class russians (and some working class russians) who aren't racists. ok they might be "racist" in the sense they hold ignorant views about black people that would be outdated in britain, but it's not like every russian has a violent hatred of blacks and muslims

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