Russian striker Pogrebnyak faces ban over ‘racist’ remarks

The Russian Premier League ethics committee is set to probe alleged racist comments made by the veteran international striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, local media reported on Sunday.



Pogrebnyak, who won 33 caps with Russia, is in trouble after remarks made about Brazilian-born, naturalised Russian striker Ari, who has two caps for his new national side.

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“It’s ridiculous when a black player plays for the Russian national team,” the 35-year-old Pogrebnyak allegedly said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

“I’m not into this (naturalisation of foreign footballers). There is no need for it. I don’t understand why Ari got a Russian passport,” said Pogrebnyak, who played at Fulham and Reading.

Alexander Baranov, deputy chief of the Russian league’s anti-discrimination panel, told Sport-Express daily the RFU will definitely examine the case.

Baranov added that Pogrebnyak may be fined or suspended for his remarks.