ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- Zenit St. Petersburg's star striker Hulk says he encounters racism in "almost every game" in Russia and the Brazil international fears it could tarnish the country's 2018 World Cup.
Hulk, the most expensive signing in Russian Premier League history, has repeatedly faced monkey chants in Russia and also accused a referee of racially abusing him.
Hulk says he "used to get angry" when he encountered racism, "but now I see this doesn't help, so I just send a kiss to our fans."
If there are racist incidents at the World Cup, "it will be really gross and really ugly," Hulk says through a translator.
In the first game of the new Russian league season Friday, Ghanaian player Emmanuel Frimpong said he was racially abused by the crowd at Spartak Moscow.