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Former Zenit St. Petersburg youth player says club froze him out of team for being black

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MOSCOW — A former Zenit St. Petersburg youth player says the Russian soccer club froze him out because he was black.

St. Petersburg-born defender Brian Idowu, who is of Russian and Nigerian heritage, says he was told that his "path to the main team was unfeasible" because of the color of his skin.

Speaking on the website of current team Amkar Perm, Idowu says the reason was because Zenit fans would not tolerate a black player.

Idowu left Zenit in 2010, when he was 18, without playing a game for the first team.

Zenit has been linked with racism before, notably in 2012 when one fan group published a manifesto demanding the club not sign any black or gay players.

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