Racist banner targets former Barcelona forward Malcom

Former Barcelona player Malcom was the target of racist abuse on his debut for Zenit Saint Petersburg, according to reports.

Diario AS cite that a section of Zenit fans unveiled a banner, allegedly referencing the club’s traditions of not signing black players: “Thank you to the leaders for their loyalty to traditions.”

That sections of fans had previously published a manifesto in which he asks the club not to sign any black players: “For us the absence of black players is only a tradition, we are not racist.”

The Russian club are said to have completed the deal for an initial €40m plus €5m in installments, with an agreement of a six-year deal worth €5m per season.

The 22-year-old had started just six La Liga games since a €41m summer switch from Bordeaux, and has previously been linked with a move to both Milan and Inter.

The Brazilian was set to join Roma last summer from the French club before the Blaugrana moved at the eleventh hour to steal the deal.

The signings of Axel Witsel and Hulk caused a similar reaction by this more radical section of Zenit fans.

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