Racism Row: Zenit St Petersburg Don't Deserve Europe

Andrew McNairSenior Writer IApril 26, 2008

I woke up this morning to a stinging allegation from Zenit St Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat:

"I would be happy to sign anyone but the fans don't like black players." I read in Saturday's Daily Record.

Zenit, who are in with a real chance of reaching next months UEFA Cup final, have it appears a rather backwards policy—something that in today's European football climate is quite remarkable.

Remarkable it would be—were it not been apallingly racist!

Advocaat, a former Dutch national coach, claims that he needs black players to improve his squad but the clubs fans to reject the notion outright as they don't want black players at their club!

Another huge talking point surrounds the clubs most famous fan, the next Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Does he subscribe to these views?

One would surely hope not, given his position of power.

I'm shocked and appalled by Russia's football fans' backward nature and their attitude towards black football players.

Many clubs in Russia have black players from all over the world but Zenit seem set on being Russia's premier all star 'white' football team.

It's a shame really and if there is even a hint of racist chanting as Bayern Munich meet them in next weeks Russian leg of the UEFA Cup semi final or even at the final itself in Manchester, I hope UEFA and FIFA combine to throw the book at them.

I'd also challenge Mr Medvedev to change his beloved clubs appalling transfer policy and bring his team back into the 21st Century!