The Russian FA (RFU) launched
an investigation on Monday into a possible racist incident
involving a banana and Anzhi Makhachkala's Congolese defender
Christopher Samba at a league match at Lokomotiv Moscow.
"The [Sunday] incident with Samba was simply outrageous and
I've instructed our ethics committee to look into this," RFU
chief Sergei Fursenko told reporters.
Media reports said that a banana was thrown at Samba from
Lokomotiv's VIP box at the end of the match, won by the home
The 27-year-old Congo international, who joined the wealthy
club from the volatile North Caucasus region from Blackburn
Rovers last month, then picked up the banana and threw it back.
"I'm very sad that [the incident] was seen by kids," Samba
told Anzhi's official website.
"It would be a bad example for them. I try not to think
about racism too much. I just hope such a problem doesn't exist
in global terms. Maybe I'm mistaken. This was the act of one
stupid person. I don't want to react to it."
Sunday's drama was the latest in a series of racist
incidents in Russian football.
Another Anzhi player, Brazilian full-back Roberto Carlos,
was the victim of banana attacks at stadiums in St Petersburg
and Samara last year.
Lokomotiv president Olga Smorodskaya denied any wrongdoing
by her club's fans.
"I was at the stadium on Sunday and didn't see anything bad
there. I was watching our fans and they conducted themselves in
exemplary fashion during and after the match," she said.
"I would like to bring to people's attention that all these
banana stories happen only with one club. No one saw anything.
It all looks like a provocation.
"We have a lot of dark-skinned players on our team and have
never had anything of this kind."
In 2010, Lokomotiv fans unveiled a huge banner with a banana
cartoon, saying "Thanks, West Brom".
It was addressed to
Lokomotiv's Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie, who was playing
his last game for the Moscow club before leaving for England's
West Bromwich Albion.
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