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Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Friday, 27 August 2010 18:04 UK

Osaze Odemwingie hits back at 'racist' Russian fans

Lokomotic Moscos fans display a banner showing a banana and the words "Thanks West Brom"
Lokomotiv Moscow fans have been condemned after displaying this banner at their ground, following Osaze Odemwingie's move to West Bromwich Albion

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Nigeria striker Osaze Odemwingie has hit out at fans of his former club in Russia, following apparently racist banners targeted at him last weekend.

Photographs showed Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrating the sale of Odemwingie to West Bromwich Albion.

One (above) included the image of a banana and read "Thanks West Brom".

"It's a minority group but it's really sad - I have a good relationship with the club but this is a big disgrace," Odemwingie told BBC Sport.

The 29-year-old explained that black players are regularly subjected to insults in the Russian league but said the authorities do not act.

"Some fans treated me well at the club - only a group of supporters have shown how narrow minded they are to the world," Odemwingie said.

"Coloured players feel the open racism there and I recall a game against CSKA Moscow when their fans started the sick noises - I wouldn't have any of it and gave it back to them.

"This was widely publicised because photographers had shots of my protest but still nothing was done to curb it.

"Sadly, it's a picture of a minority group in Russia - it really makes you feel sick but that is what it is.

"You can't totally condemn the league or the people but I am a stronger individual, focusing on my career with Nigeria and West Brom now."

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has promised to write a protest letter to Fifa calling for disciplinary action to be taken following the incident.

"We condemn this act of racism aimed at Osaze Odemwingie, hence we are preparing a letter to Fifa to discipline racist incidents in accordance with the Fifa statutes and the Fifa disciplinary code," NFF spokesman Robinson Okosun told BBC Sport.

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