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Sochi mayor regrets banana incident at city carnival

May 31, 16:07 UTC+3 SOCHI

The Sochi mayor has expressed regret after two guests of a local carnival painted their faces black and carried bananas

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Carnaval Sochi Fest 2017 parade

Carnaval Sochi Fest 2017 parade

© Artur Lebedev/TASS

SOCHI, May 31. /TASS/. Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov on Wednesday expressed regret after two guests of a local carnival painted their faces black and carried bananas.

"If some of the 3,000 carnival participants lack common sense and taste, this deserves to be regretted," the mayor said at a meeting with Nigerian student Lolade Adewuyi.

This is a single incident, the mayor said. "Sochi residents have always been hospitable and tolerant," he stressed.

Odevui, who studies sports journalism at the Sochi-based Russian International Olympic University, said the cause of the incident is the lack of information among Sochi residents of stereotypes linked with the African continent.

"I have asked people myself and understood they know nothing of it," he said asking the mayor to carry out an awareness campaign among local fans before the 2017 Confederations Cup.

After the meeting with the mayor, the student was given a ticket to a semifinals match.

A number of western media earlier published an image featuring two participants of the Sochi carnival who painted their faces black and were sporting African-style garments. One of them was holding bananas. Such incidents are often taken as an insult by black football players and fans.

The carnival was held on May 27 when Sochi celebrated the start of the 2017 summer season.

The Black Sea resort is set to host matches of the Confederations Cup. The national teams of Germany and Cameroon will go head to head here on June 25.

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