The top fan club for St Petersburg’s football team Zenit has published a manifesto saying they don’t want black, South American or gay players on their team.
The fan club published their manifesto on a website and denied they are racists.
‘We are not racists, but the absence of black players in the Zenit lineup is an important tradition that underlines the identity of the club, and nothing more,’ the manifesto said, Moscow News reports.
The manifesto goes on to list the ‘human qualities’ they want in players and says:
‘We are against the inclusion of representatives of sexual minorities in the Zenit team.’
The fan club added that the Russian Premier League team ‘was never mentally linked with Africa, nor with South America or Australia or Oceania’.
The team’s star striker Givanildo Viera de Souza is from Brazil.
Zenit itself distanced itself from the manifesto saying:
‘Players get into our team not by nationalities and skin color but sporting qualities and achievements.’
The team’s Italian head coach Luciano Spalletti released a statement saying ‘tolerance for me is most of all the ability to understand and accept differences’.