Dynamo Kiev racism row: Proposal to segregate black and white fans provokes anger from campaigner

Piara Powar, from the Football Against Racism in Europe network, described the idea as 'utterly ridiculous'

Matt McGeehan
Tuesday 27 October 2015 14:31 GMT
A black man tries to flee the stands at the NSK Olimpiysky after being attacked in an apparent racial assault
A black man tries to flee the stands at the NSK Olimpiysky after being attacked in an apparent racial assault (Reuters)

Anti-discrimination chief Piara Powar has reacted with incredulity at Dynamo Kiev considering a proposal to segregate supporters based on their skin colour.

Volodimir Spilchenko, the director of the NSK Olimpiyskyi Stadium where four black fans were attacked during Dynamo Kiev's 0-0 draw with Chelsea last week, said in an interview with the Washington Post that he was willing to consider the suggestion of segregation, which was made by a journalist.

FARE Network executive director Powar told Press Association Sport: "This was a fearsome attack and then we have people who think it's quite within the realms of a sensible response to just be trivialising the matter by suggesting separate areas of the stadium. It's utterly ridiculous.

"This isn't an initiative that comes from him, but it's a measure of how hopeless some of these guys are at that level and how trivial they think the whole issue is.

"There aren't enough black fans in Kiev - in the whole of Kiev, let alone attending Dynamo Kiev - to have a separate stand.

"And if there were we'd know what would happen. They'd just be attacked."

UEFA, European football's governing body, has launched disciplinary proceedings against Dynamo after the attacks were caught on camera. News on the proceedings is expected on Tuesday.

At least two of the victims of the attack were hospitalised, with one stabbed as he tried to make his exit, Powar says, and the evidence is overwhelming on the nature of the violence.

Powar added: "It's quite clear the attack that took place. It's documented in video. And subsequently other videos and still photographs have come to light.

"There's no doubt this was a racist attack. From what we've now seen was it was a racist attack that was accompanied by people talking about 'white power'.

"It was perpetrated by the far-right fans in the Olimpiyskyi Stadium."

UEFA's anti-discrimination video was played on the stadium's big screen continuously prior to kick-off and, although that was welcomed, Powar says a firmer, consistent stance is needed from Dynamo's leadership.

"It's about the messages which come from the leadership of a club on a weekly basis," Powar added.

"Otherwise you don't get across to some of the fans there.

"In Kiev, there are far-right groups allowed to flourish. It seems at times that there's almost a blind eye being turned to the existence of those groups and their activity is allowed to go unchecked."


Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in