Anger in Russia after captain Artem Dzyuba abused by OWN FANS during Euro qualifier
Already guaranteed a spot in next year’s pan-European footballing showpiece, Russia secured a comfortable 5-0 win against minnows San Marino – although much of the talk centered on the abuse Zenit St. Petersburg forward Dzyuba endured from sections of the Russian crowd.
Footage broadcast live on Russia’s Channel One clearly picked up chants of “Dzyuba, Dzyuba, f*ck you” during parts of the match in Serravalle.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS LANGUAGE RUSSIAN SPEAKERS MAY FIND OFFENSIVE
Russia fans chanting 'Dzyuba, Dzyuba, f*ck you' at captain Artem Dzyuba during the win against San Marino last night. Unsurprisingly he didn't join team-mates in saluting them at the final whistle. pic.twitter.com/d3XAunkzau— Liam Tyler (@tyler_lj) November 20, 2019
The Russian skipper did not respond during the game, but reportedly headed straight down the tunnel at the final whistle and did not join teammates in saluting the travelling support.
Afterwards, Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov made his displeasure clear at the abuse directed at his 31-year-old captain.
“To travel to San Marino and insult the captain – that’s really something,” Cherchesov said. “It will stay on their consciences, and we will continue along our own path.”
In separate comments the Russia boss questioned whether the supporters were genuine backers of the team.
"Whose fans are these? I haven't had any kind of reaction to things like this for a long time, because we've got used to them," he said.
Reports in the Russian press speculate that fans of Dzyuba’s former club Spartak Moscow were behind the chants.
The 6ft 4in forward has enjoyed a prickly relationship with Spartak fans since leaving for Zenit in 2015, having started his career at the Moscow club.
Former Spartak, Tottenham and Russia forward Roman Pavlyuchenko branded the fans dishing out the insults as “not human.”
“Artem Dzyuba does a lot for the country, from the fans to ordinary people. He makes people happy, his goals bring results for the national team,” Pavlyuchenko said.
“At the moment our team is getting good results, but some fans have appeared who don’t coduct themselves in a civilized way, they are not humans.”
Dzyuba, a hero from Russia’s run to the World Cup quarterfinals last summer, top-scored in their European qualifying campaign with nine goals in 10 games as Cherchesov’s team finished second behind Belgium in Group I.
However, he failed to add to that tally against San Marino on Tuesday, as goals from Daler Kuzyaev, Sergey Petrov, Alexey Miranchuk, Alexey Ionov and Nikolay Komlichenko handed Russia a comfortable win.
Such are the nuances of the Euro 2020 draw that Russia already know the teams they will face in the group stage of next year’s competition.
Russia will be drawn in Group B and will again face Belgium, as well as Denmark and either Wales or Finland.
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