It’s the type of headline that sounds as if it’s from 1950s, but alas, here we are in 2018 and we face the reality that incidents such as these do indeed still happen.
Moscow club Torpedo Moscow decided to cancel Erving Botaka-Yoboma’s contract after supporter groups expressed their discontent with the new player. On signing day, which should be a positive one for any professional and club, Torpedo Moscow organization higher ups and Botaka-Yoboma were met with these words:
It is being said that it’s not solely racial identity that is pissing off some club supporters but also previous loyalties. The 19-year-old’s most recent club was Torpedo’s local rival Lokomotiv Moscow.
Such behavior is a travesty no matter what but these sorts of reports feel particularly rotten in the wake of Russia hosting the World Cup, an event in which multiculturalism seemed a winner. FIFA’s “Say No to Racism” campaign apparently found some deaf ears to fall on in these Torpedo supporters.
Those in Russian football have already spoken out about the Botaka-Yoboma matter, including club owner Roman Avdeyev, who asserted, “there is no ‘skin colour’ in our criteria.”
Head of the All-Russian Union of Footballs, chastised the group, saying, “There have been changes in attitude after the World Cup, but a group of idiots still remains. People with a limited worldview exist in any country.”
Let’s hope some sort of harsh and appropriate action is taken, but sadly it may be best to not hold your breath.