Russia’s Confederations Cup build-up faces a major scandal after a government-backed parade in Sochi featured blacked-up locals pretending to be Cameroonian.
A photograph on the city government’s official website showed two people in blackface at Saturday’s parade.
One was wearing an afro-style wig and bananas on a string, while the other was wearing a Cameroon jersey and a headdress while holding a drum. The photo was later removed.
The people in the photograph are accompanied by others waving Cameroonian flags.
Lolade Adewuyi, a Nigerian journalist studying in Russia who witnessed the parade, said the people in blackface appeared as part of a section devoted to the Confederations Cup, which starts next month and is a key test event for next year’s World Cup.
Cameroon face Germany in Sochi on June 25.
Adewuyi said the parade, which was led by Sochi’s mayor, also contained people wearing sombreros and fake moustaches to symbolize Mexico, another country which will play next month in the southern Russian city.