Kick It Out stick up for Odemwingie

BY foxsports • September 10, 2010

Kick It Out will join forces with West Brom supporters on Saturday to support Odemwingie who moved from Lokomotiv Moscow to The Hawthorns this summer. Russian fans last month displayed a giant banner saying 'Thanks West Brom' with a picture of a banana. In response, West Brom fans have created one of their own saying 'Thanks Lokomotiv' in English and Russian with the logo 'Let's Kick Racism out of Football' and a picture of Odemwingie celebrating scoring on his Premier League debut. The controversy has become an issue for Russia's campaign for the 2018 World Cup, with bid chief executive Alexei Sorokin claiming the banner was not racist because the phrase "to get a banana" was slang in Russia for failing a test. Kick It Out spokesman Danny Lynch said: "I thought that seemed ludicrous. We do a lot of work in that part of Europe and we have never heard that before. "As far as we are concerned the banner was overtly racist." The West Brom response was orchestrated by Baggies fan Martin Greenwood, and the banner will be unveiled just before kick-off. Greenwood said: "There is simply no place for racism in the modern game, and it is pleasing that so many people have the same opinion. West Bromwich Albion has always been famous for it's multi-cultural image, both in terms of players and supporters. "To see messages coming from Lokomotiv fans that were the sort of messages hurled towards black players over here in the 70s just shows how developed we are as a footballing nation." Cyrille Regis, a hero to Albion fans and one of the first black players to make the breakthrough in English football, added: "Peter has come to the right club and will be judged on his football ability alone."

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