Hulk snubs World Cup draw over ‘racism’ in Russian game
HULK, Zenit St Petersburg’s Brazilian striker, has pulled out of today’s World Cup qualifying draw, only days after complaining of “gross and ugly” racism in Russian football.
FIFA said that Hulk will be replaced as a draw assistant by former Russia captain Alexey Smertin and added Hulk withdrew due to club commitments.
Other former players who will take part in today’s draw include Ronaldo, Diego Forlan and Oliver Bierhoff.
Russia, hosts for the 2018 World Cup, have repeatedly been criticised for failure to tackle racism in football.
“It [racism] happens at almost every match in Russia but the world does not hear about it because they try to keep it quiet,” Hulk told reporters on Monday at a Zenit training session.