Russian football went back to the old and unpleasant days, when they booed from the stands and threw a banana at Roberto Carlos. Now, at the RPL level, this has become obsolete even before any fan ID, simply because clubs are slowly learning how to work with fans, but our football is not limited to the elite.
Ulyanovsk on the football map of Russia is a very small dot. Emotion rarely arises there, but it couldn’t help but arise for the Cup match with Zenit. However, the great victory of the guests did not become the main event of the match. The highlight of the match was a banana that a racist threw from the stands at Vendel when he was leaving as a substitute.
We have to talk about this a lot and for a long time, because otherwise you won’t explain to some fans what an abomination it is. Although it is strange to explain this in the 21st century. But, unfortunately, the globalization of football has not affected many Russian cities, including Ulyanovsk, so there are still those who specifically buy a banana and go to football with it. Probably, there are them in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and they will not go anywhere, they will also come with a fan ID. Only now such an act will look like you’ve stacked a bunch on the podium. And here Zenit is indicative, where until recently the fans spoke negatively of the “black colors of the club” and almost reached the protests, but in Saint Petersburg football defeated racism.
Of course, the perpetrator of the vile act must be found and punished. True, I doubt that there are cameras at the Ulyanovsk stadium. And, apparently, it is expensive to install cameras, and the Volga and the region have no money. However, you don’t need a lot of money to work with fans, just one wish is enough. If there is no desire, then surround the stands with cages so that in the 21st century, even in the Brazilian sports media, the main story is not a racist hoax in Russia. Also, do not forget that legionnaires are now going to Russia not from Europe, but from Latin America and Africa. And if football clubs cannot attract European legionnaires, then Latin Americans can and should be attracted by a comfortable atmosphere, normal club relations, suitable supporters and the absence of racism. Nobody canceled the money, but after the action in Ulyanovsk, many in Brazil may wonder why they need to play Russia.
Another important point is that many football figures and those close to football say that we don’t need foreign players and let the Russians play football in Russia. Many veteran coaches obviously do this without bad intentions, they just live in the last century and do not understand that football is global and it will not work in Russia without foreign players. Even the very closed Saudi Arabia opened its football, because otherwise it would have simply died. Yes, and they also allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to live with a girlfriend, not a wife, which is simply prohibited by law in this country with strict rules. Thus, we see how football defeats prejudice.
Such things should not be swept under the rug. It is necessary to condemn the racist feat, even if many limit themselves to general phrases. The main thing is that there should be plenty for everyone to read that football is closed to racists and they are not welcome there. If you really want to, watch football at home and shoot what you want on TV.
However, it is strange, but even the head coach of Zenit, Sergey Semak, found an excuse for the unfortunate fan with a banana: “I saw that the banana was lying, I saw that the fans were throwing snowballs, everything that was by hand. If you look at the European championships, then in the same France, everything flies towards the player who takes out the corner. Someone dropped something, picked it up and threw it away. If you’re trying to bring this to the racist rallies, then I don’t think there was any yelling and offensive words directed at the players. To the head coach: Yes, I did hear a bit of swearing. As for the players, no, they were protected and respected.”
It’s hard to imagine a coach not rooting for his player after a racist stunt, but that’s exactly what we saw. Not just a suppressed reaction, but an indication that there is nothing to worry about. They threw snowballs, a banana just flew … Only snowballs were made in the stands, and they brought a banana with them, and I am far from thinking that to eat it.
We can assume that now is not the time to think about the reputation of Russian football, especially since it is cut off from the world. But quite the opposite: now Russian football should be as friendly and open as possible. After all, the responsible officials of the RFU say that they cannot influence the political situation, and the players, coaches and fans are definitely not to blame for what is happening. Of course, that’s the way it is, it’s silly to argue with that. But if the fans commit racist antics and the coaches don’t condemn them, then you can’t blame anyone for this. This is a problem of Russian football, its culture and development, which must be addressed.