MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti)
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- Russian Football Chief – Racism No Problem
- Russia Sports Minister: Racism Issue 'Not Hopeless'
- Spartak Moscow Create Fund to Fight Racism
- Racism in Russian Football Exaggerated – Ovchinnikov
- Football Racism Isn't Just Russia's Issue - Minister
- Muamba Incident and Racism Leave Samba in Shock
The Russian football official responsible for fans’ behavior has joked about the country’s record on racism, saying that bananas such as those thrown at black players in recent incidents “always make you happy”, in comments at a press conference Tuesday.
Fans have thrown bananas at Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos and Congolese defender Christopher Samba, both Anzhi players, at Russian Premier League games this season.
“It’s true that they give out bananas to the players, and to the match delegates, and to the referees," the Russian Premier League director of security, Alexander Meitin, said.
"They give them bananas, a nutritious fruit, obviously. And generally a yellow fruit, it always makes you happy.”
He also joked that bananas were now banned for all fans, “even in the VIP areas,” an apparent reference to an incident where a banana was thrown at Samba from the executive seats of Lokomotiv Moscow’s ground.
Meitin’s brief as director of security covers fans’ behavior, including racist incidents.
In the last two months, the Russian Football Union has forced second-tier side Torpedo Moscow to play three home games behind closed doors after repeated racist incidents.
In another case, Spartak Moscow are appealing against sanctions placed on their Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike, who received a fine and a suspended season-long ban earlier this month after showing the middle finger to Dynamo Moscow fans who, he said, had shouted racist insults at him.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.