West Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie says racism remains a huge problem inside Russian football.
When his move to West Bromwich from Lokomotiv Moscow was confirmed, a disgusting, racist banner was produced at Lokomotiv’s stadium.
"I didn’t expect it to get to this," Odemwingie told the Daily MAil. "I knew there were some racist groups there. They are against anything not Russian, not just black people.
"Inside the old Russian federation, it is so big. You have several different countries. There are many different people. They are also white. But they are not Moscow Russian. They will be from different parts of Russia. But Moscow people still don’t like them.
"But racism against black players is still there in the stadiums. Every time they receive the ball you can hear it. The noises. You feel it. It was more painful for me than, say, Brazilian players who are black, because I’m Russian.
"And I don’t want to criticise Russia. It is still my country. But they are not ready, for me, to host the World Cup. Not because of the racism issue. Because I just don’t think the country is ready yet. Like with respect to transportation.
"On a positive side, if they do get it they will build the stadiums. They will embrace it.
"Personally, I think that if there is still racism, they could use this to change Russia. To show them it’s not acceptable and bring about change. Make friends with people. Show them that people around the world are the same."