Russian clubs are flush with cash. Anzhi Makhachkala’s new coach is Guus Hiddink. They are ready to break the bank to entice Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi. But so many of their fans are still provincial and racist.
FIFA and the Russian FA faces an enormous task ahead of the 2018 World Cup to educate and enforce zero tolerance when it comes to racism. Here we have an example of that troublesome aspect as a fan throws a banana at Christopher Samba who recently joined Anzhi from Blackburn.
Samba said he had been left “very sad that it happened in front of children sitting in the stand”.
“For them it sets an awful example. I try not to dwell on racism,” he added. “I just want to believe that the problem doesn’t exist on a global scale. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I want to believe that that’s the case.”
Here is the head in the sand response from the Anzhi president, Olga Smorodskaya.
” No one saw anything. If this event actually took place, then it was done surreptitiously. It all looks like a provocation [to make Anzhi appear racist].”
Roberto Carlos, the legendary left back who plays for Anzhi has already been targeted twice by fans either throwing or waving a banana at him.