MOSCOW – Racist and anti-gay chants have become more common in Russian soccer as the country prepares to host the World Cup, even as overall incidents of discrimination declined.
Nineteen incidents of abusive chants were recorded this season, according to an annual report from the anti-discrimination Fare Network and the Moscow-based Sova Center. That compares to two cases the season before, and 10 the year before that.
Victims included players from the French national team, who were targeted with monkey chants during a game against Russia in March, and Liverpool youth player Bobby Adekanye, who was racially abused by Spartak Moscow supporters.
Russian national team goalkeeper Guilherme Marinato, a naturalized citizen who was born in Brazil, was twice targeted by Spartak fans calling him a monkey.