Russia's Soccer Fans Proud of Their Racism


The true face of Zenit St Petersburg, concealed from me for a week, walked in on his tiptoes and hidden under a hoodie.

A 23-year-old, out-of-work car mechanic with ‘34’ tattooed on his arm — the shirt number worn by Vladimir Bystrov, a right winger no less — was willing to break the strict code of silence among the hardcore fans of Europe’s most racist club.

He spoke fast in Russian, occasionally making a cut-throat gesture with his scarred hands.

He predicted a hostile atmosphere inside the Petrovsky Stadium for Liverpool’s Europa League match against Zenit, with racism at its ugly core.

‘There may well be monkey noises aimed at Liverpool’s black players,’ said our informant, speaking on condition of anonymity.


Read Full Article »

Recommended Articles

Reborn Russia Will Be on Display in Sochi

Kathy Lally, Washington Post - February 11, 2013

SOCHI, Russia — Fellow Americans, here’s what President Vladimir Putin’s main man wants you to know about Russia with the one-year countdown to the Sochi Winter Olympics just underway: Get over the stereotypes... more »

Women Everywhere Turn to Roller Derby

Matt Moffett, Wall Street Journal - February 4, 2013

MADRID—When Clara Colome's small business failed in Spain's grinding recession, she picked up the pieces with a little help from her friends, "Pandemonium" and "Hell on Wheels."   The knock-down drag-out sport of women's... more »

Goooooaaaallll! And Then What?

Joshua Robinson, Wall Street Journal - February 13, 2013

In the age of wall-to-wall soccer coverage, goal celebrations have become their own branch of performance art—a few moments in the spotlight to make a statement, soak in the cheers, and massage the ego. Think Peter... more »

Soccer's Biggest Showdown Arrives Early

Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports - February 13, 2013

It is rare that soccer's biggest showdown in any given season should come in early February rather than the end of May, but Wednesday's match-up between Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid and Manchester United comfortably fits... more »

Soccer's Version of Sweet 16

Matthew Futterman, Wall Street Journal - February 12, 2013

Gus Johnson, a veteran TV broadcaster whose distinctively exuberant style became synonymous with the NCAA men's basketball tournament, left his longtime perch at CBS in 2011 for Fox Sports. He's spent the last 18 months... more »