Brian Idowu: Super Eagles defender recalls being racially profiled by police in Russia

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Brian Idowu

Idowu was born and brought up in Russia by Nigerian father and a Russian-Nigerian mother.

Super Eagles defender Brian Idowu has revealed that he has been racially profiled by police in Russia several times as he touched on racism issues in the country about to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup in six weeks time.

FIFA are concerned about Racism in Russia and are investigating the alleged monkey chants aimed at two France players during a friendly game in March.

Just in April, the Russian Football Union fine Zenit Saint-Petersburg and Spartak Moscow for racist chants.

Idowu knows about Russia more than many as he was born in the country to his father who came from Nigeria as a student.

 

AS a black player in Russia, the defender who plays for Amkar Perm in the Russian Premier League has had his own share of bad experiences with racism.

He was so frequently racially profiled by the police that a time he and his friend used to place bets on which of them will be stopped and searched on the subway.

"I think most of them do that to put pressure on a player psychologically, maybe so he doesn't want to keep playing," Idowu told AP.

"It could just be because someone finds it funny. … Sometimes I'm walking along (the street) and there's five guys or a guy with his girlfriend, and one of them sees me and makes a joke so his friends will laugh."

Idowu also recalled being racially abused by a Zenit Saint-Petersburg fan, when he was with their youth team. 

“‘There's no black in Zenit's colours ‘What's going on there, and why are you in the kit?’,” he recalled being told by a fan.

My friend got angrier than I did. I just responded with a smile."

He however also stated that the racism incidents in Russia have reduced over the years; “It’s really changed strongly”’ he said.

World Cup with Super Eagles

 

Idowu made his debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the 4-2 win over Argentina in November 2017.

He even scored in the game.

"It's hard to express the emotions," the defender said.

"My father was in the stands watching the game. It was doubly pleasant to win the game against opponents like (Argentina). I just can't put it into words."

After three games for the Super Eagles, it is looking certain that Idowu will be in the Super Eagles squad for the World Cup.

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