Hulk said racism was present at 'almost every game' in Russia and fears it could mar the World Cup
Brazilian striker Hulk has been withdrawn from the 2018 Wold Cup draw after saying that racism is common in the host country Russia.
Ghanaian footballer who plays for Ufa in Russia Emmanuel Frimpong claimed to be racially abused by Spartak Moscow fans on Friday, July 17 and four days later, Hulk commented that racism is commonplace in the country.
Hulk who plays for Zenit St Petersburg said racism was present at 'almost every game' in Russia and fears it could mar the World Cup.
"If it (racism) happens in the World Cup, it will be really gross and really ugly," the striker said.
"Usually it happens when Russian clubs play and it doesn't come out to the world and the world doesn't know about this.
"I must say that almost every game I see this happening. I used to get angry, but now I see this doesn't help, so I just send a kiss to our fans and try not to get angry."
The comment however was not the reason why Hulk withdrew from his role in the World Cup draw according to FIFA.
FIFA said Hulk had withdrew due to 'club commitments' with Zenit St Petersburg playing Ural Yekaterinburg in the Russian Premier League on Sunday, July 26 a day after Saturday's draw ceremony.
The match was however scheduled since at least June 30, long before Hulk was announced as a participant in the World Cup draw which indicates that he withdrew as a result of his comments about racism in Russia.
Hulk will be replaced at the draw by former Russia midfielder Alexei Smertin.
Other popular names who will attend the draw include Ronaldo di Lima, ex-Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o.
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