Moscow, Aug 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti):
Fans of Lokomotiv Moscow and other clubs in the Russian capital flocked to Anzhi’s match against Dutch side AZ Alkmaar Thursday to protest Anzhi using Lokomotiv’s stadium, and chanted racist abuse at Anzhi fans, most of whom hail from the Russian province of Dagestan in the Caucasus.
The match, which Anzhi won 1-0, was played in Moscow because Anzhi’s home region has been banned from hosting European games by UEFA due to security concerns.
“I was not very happy about the behaviour of the fans at the match with AZ,” Eto’o said Tuesday.
“I think about being tolerant and I hope that people will listen to me. We should have a dialogue and then we will be able to improve the atmosphere, not just at the stadiums, but overall.”
If Anzhi beat AZ on aggregate after Thursday’s second leg and reach the Europa League group stage, it is still not clear where their home matches would be held.
“Hosting the matches abroad would be wrong,” Eto’o said.
“When clubs play in Europe we can sell the image of Russia to people. In that way we offer an opportunity for people across Europe to discover Russia for themselves.”
Anzhi’s home games in the earlier qualifying rounds were held at a largely unused stadium in the town of Ramenskoe near Moscow. Their only previous European campaign, in 2001-02, saw their UEFA Cup first round tie against Scotland’s Rangers played on neutral turf in Poland, again for security concerns, with the Rangers winning 1-0.