Monday, April 16, 2012

Soccer,Racism,Banana & Russia

They are generally better known for their vodka drinking than their none existent banana production, but Russians are mad about this tropical fruit.

Roberto Carlos, Christopher Samba and Peter Odemwingie/ photo/ reuters/ montage The Africa Report
Roberto Carlos, Christopher Samba and Peter Odemwingie

A madness that Congolese footballer Christopher Samba experienced first hand. 

It was during a Russian Football Championship match, last March, with his new team Anzhi Makhachkala against Lokomotiv Moscow, that he saw an airborne banana landing on his head. 

Infuriated, he grabbed the banana and hurled it back into the stands.

The act could have attracted disciplinary sanctions, that is, if the first banana thrower hadn't been identified afterwards. The perpetrator appears to have been a Moscow university student, according to the Russian Football Federation
  Racists acts like this attract heavy fines and bans in most countries, but they are common in Russian stadia.
In August 2010, Nigerian footballer Peter Odemwingie had the shock of his life as he left his Russian club Lokomotiv. 

In a spectacular move as he left for West Bromwich Albion in England,  Odemwingie's "fans" bid him farewell by rolling out a large banner adorned with a banana, whilst thanking his new club for coming to get him.
     Brazilian Roberto Carlos, who was recruited last year by Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov and owner of Anzhi, fell victim to similar anti-social acts. 

First, a so-called supporter waved a banana at him in Saint Petersburg last March. A month later in Samara's stadium, the former Brazilian defender was struck by another banana. According to regulations, the Saint Petersburg club was fined about $10.000. But the miscreant was released, after having been heard by the local police. 

The banana throwing Russian explained that he had not aimed the fruit, which is synonymous with monkeys, at anyone in particular, and that he had only thrown the banana in mere frustration.
But how that banana ended up hitting a black player among the lot is anyone's guess!


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