‘Not Being Racist Or Homophobic, But…’ – Zenit Supporters Proclaim No Black Or Gay Players Should Play For Club

Chris Wright

17th, December 2012


By Chris Wright

Several of Zenit St Petersburg’s largest supporters’ groups have clubbed together to produce a manifesto, which they’re calling ‘Selection-12′,  which proclaims that the Russian club should rid themselves of all black and latin players.

It’s okay though, as the supporters’ groups are eager to tell us that they’re not being racist in wanting to flush foreign players from the Zenit squad – they’re merely lending a helping hand in a bid to stop the club losing ties with the city of St Petersburg.

Selection-12 reads thus:

“For us, the absence of black players in Zenit is an important tradition and nothing more. Due to its preservation the club has their own recognizable face in the football world – along with a few other clubs, who still hold on to their identity.

As the most northern club among the big European cities, we have never been mentally connected with Africa as well as South America, Australia and Oceania.

“No other parts of the world should be in priority, and there is no racism or nationalism here. The club is just losing its regional identity and we cease to associate ourselves with them.

“We go from the fact that Zenit is a symbol of our city. Therefore it should reflect its essence, represent its face.

“It’s principal for us that Zenit would keep its identity, not turning into an average European club with a standard set of foreigners.”

Elsewhere in Selection-12 it reportedly also states that “dark-skinned players are all but forced down Zenit’s throat now, which only brings out a negative reaction,” and that the Zenit fans in question are also standing “against the representatives of sexual minorities playing for Zenit” – though, of course, they’re not being racist, or homophobic for that matter.

These probably being the same ilk of Zenit fan that sent Yann M’Vila death threats when he was linked with the club over the summer and planted a fake bomb with a note reading “Hulk Out” shortly after the Brazilian striker joined from Porto.

Apparently Selection-12 will be made public in the next few days. Can’t wait.


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  1. RULAS says:

    Black communist Harry Haywood went to the Soviet Union. He spoke of his experience concerning racism there:

    “In the Soviet Union, remnants of national and racial prejudice from the old society were attacked by education and law. It was a crime to give or receive direct or indirect privileges, or to exercise discrimination because of race or nationality. Any manifestation of racial or national superiority was punishable by law and was regarded as a serious political offense, a social crime.

    During my entire stay in the Soviet Union, I encountered only one incident of racial hostility. It was on a Moscow streetcar. Several of us Black students had boarded the car on our way to spend an evening with out friend MacCloud. It was after rush hour and the car was only about half filled with Russian passengers. As usual, we were subjects of friendly curiosity. At one stop, a drunken Russian staggered aboard. Seeing us, he muttered (but loud enough for the whole car to hear) something about ‘Black devils in our country.’

    A group of outraged Russian passengers thereupon seized him and ordered the motorman to stop the car. It was a citizen’s arrest, the first I had ever witnessed. ‘How dare you, you scum, insult people who are guests in our country!’…

    ‘No, citizens,’ said a young man (who had done most of the talking), ‘drunk or not, we don’t allow this sort of thing in our country…’”

    Well, I guess times has changed

  2. JoeT says:

    Honestly I think they are just saying that it should go way to back to when only players from near your town or city can play for your team which consequently would mean less black and Latino players and in fairness there are only a few, maybe 5 or 6 players not from russia in their first team. However the gay bashing, thats just dumb

  3. Davy says:

    Oh well that’s ok then

  4. Andre says:

    Sigh, not racist or homophobic at all. As Joe mentioned, maybe their concern is the team being less Russian which by itself is a fair statement. But if that is the case, why only focus on black and Latin players and what exactly is wrong with gay footballers (or gay people on a whole)?

  5. Miguel - NYC says:

    Honestly, comments like the one from JoeT just make matters worse, and to use your own words, they are just “dumb”.
    Football is a global sport and if anything, non-white european players make it to the big teams on the base of merit.
    From what you are saying, if a black, latino, or south-asian family moves to Russia, and their kid wants to play football, they better go back to wherever they came from if they want to join a team no matter how good they are just because of their skin color? Your “logic” makes absolutely no sense. Actually, it is plain dumb (Yes, i needed to repeat my self).
    Thank you Pies for bringing light to these issues.

  6. usrick says:

    Even if one could believe that the intent of the manifesto was just to encourage more Russian players in the Zenit side (a belief that would have to assume the manifesto was massively mis-translated), the idea is still pretty dumb. The time when a top level club could consist of only local players is in the past, and any club that pursued such a policy in this era would see mediocre results at best. The talent pool would be too limited and the best local players would leave for better opportunities in less xenophobic circumstances.

  7. […] Breaking News · Exclusives · Rumours · The Sweeper · Premier …'Not Being Racist Or Homophobic, But…' – Zenit Supporters Proclaim No Black …Who Ate All The […]

  8. TravisKOP says:

    Chivas Guadalajara has had, and continues to have a policy of only signing/raising mexican talent. That always made me angry that a club would refuse to even acknowledge foreign players regardless of how talented they are. but then i think, its mexico and the place is a backwards third world country anyways.

  9. Anonymouse says:

    Dick Advocaat 4 years ago:

    “I would be happy to sign anyone, but the fans don’t like black players,” he revealed. Quite honestly, I do not understand how they could pay so much attention to skin colour. Frankly, the only players who can make Zenit stronger are dark skinned. But for us it would be impossible. The fans are the most important thing that Zenit have. That’s why I have to ask them outright how they’ll react if we sign a dark skinned player for Zenit. At least two times a year we meet with the fans. I hope we’ll have an opportunity to talk to them about this racist issue soon.’

  10. Nuno says:

    Athletic Bilbau only plays with basque players and they’ve done reasonably well in the last few years, even being one of the three clubs to never have been relegated from La Liga, along with the two “you-know-who” (thanks wikipedia).
    But given the historical behavior of Russian football fans (and the content of that letter), this is blatant racism.

  11. GiveFootballBack says:

    All this because the someone has a bit of built-in sun block. How lame.

  12. Richard says:

    No Aussies? My dreams of playing for Zenit were just crushed. Maybe Spartak Moscow will have me?

  13. Jarren says:

    Well I guess now that they’ve made their desires for their team absolutely clear, most foreigners will shun the club completely.

    If that’s the way official supporters clubs feel, god knows how the average guy on the street feels.

  14. Jock says:

    I wonder if they had just said ” we just want more russians, nor foreigners” does that change it from racism? xenophobia?

    They are mental though, who prefers a White Russian to a black one?
    I mean come on.

  15. L7argouss says:

    Hum… What about Athletic Bilbao? It’s exactly the same dumbass policy. even though they won many copa del rey titles and some ligas

  16. yolo says:

    how about people just stay in their fucking countries, instead of moving abroad and keeping their customs = no racism, no problems and makes perfect sense.
    having black/latino players playing for the club is another matter, and imo its very stupid of the fans to make such statements, especially about gay players.
    russia has the largest # of neo-nazis in the world. ironic considering how much they died in ww2 fighting against them.
    world is indeed a weird place

  17. Allan says:

    I don’t think anyone in the UK could really agree with the fans of Zenit.

    We have to understand that Russia has had a very different history to us. They didn’t go round the world plundering others natural resources and they didn’t have the slave trade from African countries or the commonwealth.

    I think there is something to be said for the romantic notion of your team actually being local to that region. All or most teams are named after the city or area they are in so it makes some sense.

    The gay thing is abit strange really. im sure there are gay people in st petersburg and maybe even some of the fans are gay.

  18. squiggle says:

    If the fans are so interested in history, they should surely know that Russia’s greatest poet was of partly black ancestry. Pushkin, Saint Petersburg is named after him.

    He also cheerfully discussed homosexuality with gay friends.

  19. squiggle says:

    p.s. The comparison with Athletic Bilbao is an interesting one, and in the past I’ve been puzzled by the Basque club being considered amiable underdogs, but there’s a difference in that a black person from the Basque region qualifies to play for the club.

    [quote]We have to understand that Russia has had a very different history to us. They didn’t go round the world plundering others natural resources and they didn’t have the slave trade from African countries or the commonwealth.[/quote]

    Hmm. What Russia did in Asia is pretty comparable with any of the colonial empires of western Europe.

  20. bobbie says:

    what about hulk, witsel???

    Or does hulk turn green when on the field?

  21. bobbie says:

    If only we did that with idiots…

    unfortunately the internet has a tendency to propogate idiots…

  22. andre ashavin says:

    do they have anything against elves? because i wouldn’t mind coming back.

  23. Steve says:

    Allan, not to pile on but I have to second squiggle. I think the Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Georgians, Circassians, and Dagestanis are just a few of the ethnic groups that would disagree with you.

    I think the Athletic Bilbao issue doesn’t cause the same reaction in me as these fools did because the club represents a ethnic minority. If they were calling for players only from the St. Petersburg area their BS would be easier to swallow. But I don’t get that from what we have here.

    What does make this racist BS to me is that they are saying brown faces can’t represent people of St. Petersburg, which is false. I was there this past summer and was completely surprised at the multi-ethnic population there. Sure I was in the tourist zone but I saw people of all kinds going about their business.

    I’m ticked because the squeeze and I saw Zenit play Dinamo Moscow on that trip and loved the game and atmosphere.

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