Russia launch anti-racism taskforce after Samba abuse

    Congolese defender Christopher Samba played for English side Blackburn Rovers between 2007 and 2012.

    Story highlights

    • Russian Football Union to launch a group aimed at tackling racism in the sport
    • Anzhi Makhachkala defender Christopher Samba had a banana throw at him on Sunday
    • Anzhi's Roberto Carlos also had a banana thrown at him while playing for the club
    • Russia are to host the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time in 2018
    Russian football has been blighted by a series of high-profile incidents of racial abuse in recent times, an issue the country's soccer administrators are eager to address ahead of the FIFA World Cup arriving in 2018.
    Global attention was drawn to the issue when veteran Anzhi Makhachkala full-back Roberto Carlos, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002, was subjected to abuse by both Zenit St. Petersburg and Krylya Sovetov fans.
    As a result of the abuse, which included the former Real Madrid star having a banana thrown at him, both clubs were fined $10,000.
    And racism in the Russian Premier League has been brought back into focus by events on Sunday, when Carlos' Congolese teammate Christopher Samba was subjected to the same form of abuse.
    Samba, who moved to Anzhi from English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers last month, had a banana thrown at him from the VIP box of Lokomotiv Moscow's Lokomotiv Stadium.
    "We are deeply disappointed with the idiotic episode that happened to our player Christopher Samba after the match at Lokomotiv," read a statement from the Dagestan-based team.