Former Zenit St Petersburg youth team player Brian Idowu has claimed the Russian club refused to play him in their main team because he is black.
The 23-year-old left Zenith in 2010 as an 18-year-old without playing a game for the main team, and the Amkar Perm defender claimed he was told his path to the main team was unfeasible because of the colour of his skin.
Born in St. Petersburg to Nigerian parents Idowu made the claims on the wesbite of his present team, which will further heap pressure on Zenith as they have long being accused of being a racist team.
In 2012 one Zenit fans’ group published a manifesto demanding the club not sign any black or gay players.
However, the club responded to those demands three years ago by saying “we make our player selections without any limitation regarding origin, religion or skin colour”.
Zenith St Petersburg are yet to release any official statement on Idowu’s claim , but reports in Russia suggest the team will respond after today’s Europa League game against Sevilla.
The Nigerian whose maternal grandmother is the reason behind his Russian roots is presently a teammate to out of favour Super Eagles midfielder Fengor Ogude.
This season he has made 7 appearances for the team in the Russia top flight league after a loan spell last season at second division Dinamo Sankt Petersburg.
*First published on the 23rd of April 2015.