Zenit Fans Protest At Malcom Signing With Horrific Racist Banner
Zenit St Petersberg fans have horrifically protested against the signing of Malcom from Barcelona with a racist banner during their game yesterday.
Malcom has recently joined the Russian outfit for a fee of £36 million after a miserable year at the Nou Camp, making 15 appearances in La Liga scoring just one goal.
During Zenit's game against Krasnodar in the Russian Premier League, their fans held up a banner tastelessly blasting the club for signing black players.
The banner reads: "Thank you leadership for loyalty to traditions."
Some Zenit fans have a chequered history in terms of accepting diversity in their squad, with the Landskrona fan association previously urging the hierarchy to not sign black players.
A lengthy manifesto has been posted by fans and is titled, 'Zenit and black players'.
The manifesto is in Russian but some of it has been transcribed and it is chilling.
It reads: "We are not racist and for us the absence of black players is just an important tradition, emphasising the identity of the club and nothing more.
"We, as the northernmost club of the major European cities, have never been mentally connected with Africa, however, as with South America or Australia or Oceania."
The manifesto goes on to say that the club should 'let us be what we are'.
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"We have absolutely nothing against the inhabitants of these and any other continents, but at the same time we want players who are close in spirit to speak for Zenit."
"Now, Zenit black football players are being forced almost by force, and this causes only a backlash.
:rotating_light: BREAKING NEWS: Zenit have confirmed the signing of Barcelona winger Malcom. Career wasted. pic.twitter.com/S9ykHhtMmy- 360Sources (@360Sources) August 2, 2019
"Let us be what we are."
The manifesto also contains other alarming concepts, including scouting four key 'breeding areas' for potential young players.
Furthermore it states: "In addition, it is fundamentally important for us that Zenit retain its own identity, and not become an average European team with a standard set of legionnaires."
Utterly bizarre and disturbing.
Malcom ya ha debutado como jugador del Zenit. Le deseo que le vaya todo muy bien. pic.twitter.com/ReNwf5nnfT- Som I Serem FCB (@Somhiseremfcb) August 4, 2019
It isn't the first time that Russia has been involved in racism scandals, whether at club level or international level.
Chelsea's Calum Hudson-Odoi was racially abused in last season's Europa League last-16 tie against Dinamo Kiev.
In addition, the national team were fined £22,000 following racist chants in their friendly against France in May 2018, one month before the World Cup began in Moscow.
Regardless of their thoughts on Malcom's signing, the racist behaviour on show has no place in football at all.