Armenian coach of Russian third division club faces ban for reacting to discrimination27 September 2017

FCAraratMoscowheadcoach AlexanderGrigoryanhasbeeninvitedtoattenda disciplinaryhearingafterthe RussianFootballUnion(RFU)chargedhimforreactingtodiscriminationduringaRussianthirdtiermatch.

The encounter between the two Muscovite teams, played on Monday 25 September, was marred by a series of discriminatory chants towards Grigoryan and FC Ararat players. At the end of the match, the 50-year-old Armenian coach visibly upset showed the middle finger to the opposing team fans.

Video footage obtained by Fare shows Torpedo Moscow fans chanting racist and homophobic slurs towards the coach and his players, including “black yellow faggots” and “black asses”.

After the final whistle, Grigoryan told the media: “Do you think I should keep quiet after being disrespected by chants like this, “black ass” and so on?”

“These fans should be the ones sanctioned, not me. If I am to be punished for this, that would mean green light to unreserved nationalism. This even has a touch of Nazism. I think I have reacted mildly in such a situation.” he said, after being asked about the a possibility of his action incurring in a sanction.

The disciplinary hearing was be held today, Wednesday 27 September, but the outcome is still unknown.

FC Ararat is a new club founded in 2017 and supported by the Armenian diaspora in Moscow. The club currently plays in the Russian third division (Professional Football League, Center Zone) and has been at the centre of attention for signing several Russian top players at the end of their careers and aiming to climb to the Premier League in two years.

The practice of banning players and coaches for reacting to discriminatory abuse has witnessed in several countries over the last seasons, notably Italy and Austria and with most cases recorded in Russia.