Russian fan hurls banana at Brazilian star Roberto Carlos
Brazilian football star Roberto Carlos walked off the pitch after a Russian fan hurled a banana at him in a racist gesture, according to Thursday news reports.
The incident took place during a Wednesday evening Russian top league match between Anzhi Makhalachka, where Carlos is captain, and host side Krylia Sovetov Samara, DPA reported.
The fruit did not strike Carlos but the gesture and epithets shouted at him by some fans were clearly racist, which fully justified Carlos' quitting the field in protest in the 90th minute, said Maksim Sestnov, a Kryla Sovetov spokesman.
Anzhi won the away game in the Volga River city Samara 3-0.
"This is no spontaneous reaction, it was planned," Carlos said in post-game remarks reported by Interfax.
"This ugly racist outburst by some bastard - it is hard to call him a human - has darkened the football match and caused deep anger among all the fans," said Anzhi coach Gadji Gadishchev.
"We will make every effort to find and punish the bastard that offended this remarkable player," he said in a club statement.
It was the second time Russian fans has subjected Carlos to an overt racist insult, but he would nonetheless continue playing for Anzhi, said German Chistyakov, Anzhi's general manager, in a statement.
"He is a professional of the highest class and he will fulfill his contract. The team supports him," Chistyakov said.
Russia is scheduled to host the 2018 World Cup.
While the majority of Russian football fans is peaceful, domestic league matches are plagued by violence caused by a minority of fans who support extremist nationalism and attend games for a chance to drink and fight.
Foreign players are frequently targeted by such fans and insults often racist in nature.