Roberto Carlos racially abused during Russian league match
Roberto Carlos walked off the pitch after a spectator threw a banana in his direction during a Russian league fixture on Wednesday (22 June).
Playing for current club Anzhi Makhachkala, the incident occurred against Krylia Sovetov in the city of Samara.
Carlos said: “I am really upset by what happened. It was a nasty surprise and I really hope that the Russian football authorities get to grips with this so that the person who did it is found and punished. I am used to there being no racism in football. Russia should not be an exception.”
He added that he “felt deep disappointment and had no desire to continue the game.” Team-mates said Carlos broke down in tears when he got back to the dressing room.
Kick It Out chair, Lord Herman Ouseley, said: “Incidents like this were once commonplace in this country and now, in the main, a thing of the past. The campaign’s work, in tandem with partners at the PFA, The FA and the Premier League has put to bed some of the nastier elements of fan activity.
“The game in Russia can follow a similar path. We’d urge the authorities to see this as an opportunity to grasp the issue, be guided by the positive work UEFA and the FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) to educate and inform supporters that this type of activity simply wont be tolerated.”
Russian Premier League spokesman, Sergei Alekseyev, said the league is ready to do everything to “change the situation” with discrimination against players, but added that legal prosecution is not always possible.
He said: “The stadium in itself is a democratic environment. The police can seize flares, but how can they seize fruit?”
Krylya Sovetov said on its website that it will “do everything to find and punish the scumbag who insulted the wonderful and respected footballer,” and announced a 50,000 rouble ($1,700) reward for information about the culprit.
Russian Football Union head, Sergei Fursenko, said the union will also “investigate the incident and punish it in the harshest way”, in televised remarks.
But spokesman for Samara regional police, Sergei Goldshtein, said the fan is not likely to face any punishment from the police.
“We are trying to identify him due to the large public outcry. But there is no existing legal liability for throwing bananas or other objects on the field.”