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Russian fans' racism has worsened, says ex-Moscow star

Odemwingie talks about racism in Russian football

Former Lokomotiv Moscow striker Peter Odemwingie thinks racism in Russian football has worsened and must be tackled by the 2018 World Cup hosts.

The Nigeria international, who is half-Russian, joined West Brom in August with some Lokomotiv fans displaying an offensive banner on his exit.

"Since I left things got a little bit worse," he said. "[But] it's something the government is looking at I'm sure."

Russia beat England, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium in the 2018 bid.

In September West Brom fans showed their support for Odemwingie at a home match against Tottenham, unfurling a banner to counter that of the Russians a week earlier - which was emblazoned with 'Thanks West Brom' accompanied with a picture of a banana.

Speaking about that incident, Odemwingie told the BBC's Football Focus programme: "To be honest I was surprised, because Lokomotiv is not known to be a club with aggressive fans.

"But this year definitely something broke loose because Lokomitiv was one of the most peaceful teams.

"You would never hear of them having fans who fight, who do crazy things. This year I have noticed, even while I was there, it was already coming.

"There was a few groups of boys with their own agenda, which has nothing to do with football.

"In a few other teams in their stadiums, it's present, it's obvious - you cannot pretend that you don't see it."

Watch the full interview on Football Focus on Saturday at 1215 GMT on BBC One.

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see also
Russia defends record on racism
02 Sep 10 |  Football
Fifa 'cannot act' on racist flag
23 Sep 10 |  Europe
WBA to show Odemwingie solidarity
10 Sep 10 |  African
Odemwingie seals West Brom move
20 Aug 10 |  West Brom

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