Racially abused players need to keep control - Russian FA official

Christopher Samba
Christopher Samba used to play at QPR and Blackburn

A Russian football association official says it is right to punish players who react to racial abuse from fans.

Artur Grigoryants, head of the Russian FA's disciplinary committee, referred to the players in question as "so-called, in inverted commas, victims".

Dynamo Moscow's Christopher Samba was banned for two games in September 2014 for gesturing to Torpedo Moscow fans who taunted him with monkey chants.

Grigoryants said Samba's "unpleasant gesture" was "a punishable offence".

Speaking to Associated Press, he added: "Yes, there was a provocation from the stands but a player should keep himself under control and so we decided to punish the club for the occurrence and we punished Samba."

Torpedo's sanction was that they were ordered to close part of their stadium for one game as a result of the abuse.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter recently said he is concerned by the findings of a study into the scale of racism in Russia before it hosts the 2018 World Cup.

A report by the Fare network and Sova Center highlighted more than 200 cases of discriminatory behaviour linked to Russian football over two seasons.

However, Grigoryants insisted there were only "rare cases of racism" in Russia and that "we're on the way to liquidating it completely".

The comments from Grigoryants contrast with those of the Russian Football Union's general secretary, Anatoly Vorobyov.

In the wake of the recent study, he said "not everything is going smoothly" in Russia's attempts to eliminate racist behaviour.

Russian football's racism problem
Manchester City played their Champions League group game at CSKA Moscow in October 2014 behind closed doors because the Russian club were serving a punishment for a series of offences, including racist chanting.
Dynamo Moscow defender Christopher Samba was suspended for two matches in September 2014 after making a gesture at Torpedo Moscow supporters who had shouted racial insults at him. FC Rostov midfielder Guelor Kanga received a three-match ban for a similar offence in December.
Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure suffered monkey chants during Manchester City's 2-1 win at CSKA in a Champions League group game in 2013. CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky claimed "the situation had been very exaggerated".
Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos had a banana thrown at him while playing for Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in June 2011. Carlos walked off the field in protest at "the disgusting incident".
Lokomotiv Moscow fans unfurled a banner with a banana and the words "Thanks West Brom" on it, after the English club signed Nigerian winger Peter Odemwingie in 2010. The head of Russia's World Cup bid committee Alexey Sorokin claimed "to get a banana" was a slang term for failing a test.