Liverpool racism fear ahead of Zenit trip; Millwall fan charged
Sky Sports and Daily Mail expose racism among football fans in England and Russia
THE SPECTRE of racism is hanging over football once again as concerns grow over Liverpool's trip to Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday - and after a Millwall fan was charged with racially abusing Leeds striker El-Hadji Diouf.
The 53-year-old man from Enfield was arrested on Tuesday after Sky Sports News broadcast footage of Millwall fans hurling insults at the Senegalese player during a game at the New Den in November. The Sky Sports special report included clips filmed by an undercover reporter in the stands, which showed supporters subjecting Diouf to monkey chants and other shocking abuse.
The Daily Telegraph said the investigation had prompted a swift response from the South London club. A Millwall spokesman said the club was "appalled" by the behaviour of some of its supporters and promised to ban them for life.
Club captain, Danny Shittu, said he was "deeply saddened" by the footage, which emerged after an investigation into allegations of racism at the match was dropped because Diouf had not made a complaint.
Last year Bolton player Marvin Sordell was subjected to vitriolic abuse on social media after making an allegation of racism against Millwall fans.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail has dispatched a reporter to Russia ahead of Liverpool's game with Zenit St Petersburg this week. Last year, Zenit fans issued a 'manifesto' which called on the club not to sign any black or gay players.
After talking to one of the club's 'ultra' fans, the paper predicts "a hostile atmosphere inside the Petrovsky Stadium... with racism at its ugly core". The Mail explains how the supporter warned that Liverpool's black players could be subjected to monkey chants and have bananas hurled at them.
"The list of Zenit’s race crimes is extensive," says the Mail. "Supporters have worn Ku Klux Klan masks. Hardliners make Nazi-style salutes on the terraces."
The paper even reports that the hardcore Russian hooligans model themselves on Millwall fans.