Liverpool boss worried about racist abuse
The Russian supporters have earned an unsavoury reputation for their treatment of opposition players, with QPR defender Chris Samba, who used to play for Anzhi Makhachkala, describing some of their supporters as “living in another century”.
There are worries that Liverpool’s black players, Glen Johnson, Andre Wisdom and Raheem Sterling, will be subject of racially motivated chanting and gestures from certain sections of the crowd.
Rodgers admitted that the issue is something he is prepared for, and urged the sport’s governing bodies to take action should any issues occur:
“I will make reference to it because we have players it maybe could affect, but we are here for football.” He is quoted by Sky Sports.
“We are very hopeful there will be a terrific game and anything that goes on outside the field will be taken care of.
“You go into the sporting arena and hopefully everyone from football, UEFA, referees and officials will support any player it may affect.”
However, he feels that his players are professional enough to deal with any potential problems and that his squad are also strong enough to cope:
“I know these are players who want to play and Glen is a very experienced, top international player.
“And young Raheem has been through situations like this (in an Under-21 international in Serbia in October) before.
“It is something which will very much unite the players and they will become one group. No-one in life wants to see anyone come under any sort of scrutiny like that.”
With his team out of both domestic cup competitions, Rodgers went on to state that he is fully focussed on performing well in the Europa League:
“It is a competition we want to do well in, as it is the last cup competition we are involved in.”