Nigeria international taunted while at Lokomotiv MoscowWest Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie hopes the awarding of the 2018 World Cup finals to Russia will help rid the football stadiums in the country of their racist elements.
The striker joined the Baggies from Lokomotiv Moscow where he had received constant racist taunts from fans of all clubs, including his own.
But with the arrival of players and fans from all over the world for the finals the 29-year-old, who was born in Uzbekistan, said the tournament could help the nation move forward in their treatment of racism.
"I am not sure how the World Cup is going to be but let's see when it comes. You can’t just condemn a country because of some racism,” he told The Guardian.
“Maybe it is going to be better than anyone thought so let's just wait and see. As I've said before, it (racism) is a minority group. They are there but in the country now, they are ready to deal with it.
"In a way, I'm happy they are taking the World Cup there because lots of nationalities will come into their country and the mentality might change.
"The little negative parts that they have, it might reduce and there will be peace in the country.
"I only hope that is the case. There are lots of good people as well who just love football.”