Russian referee Evgeny Turbin became an internet sensation overnight with his savage moment on Malcom, after he gave deadly stare and a sarcastic thumbs up to Zenit Saint Petersburg winger.
Malcom, in an attempt to return the ball to the referee, hit it so accurately that, the ball went on to hit the referee on his chest. After 56 minutes, the referee booked Dynamo forward Kirill Panchenko. It was during this stoppage in play that the referee lost the focus on the ball in writing down something, when Malcom’s lobbed ball from quite a distance hit him on the chest ever so accurately.
But it was what followed that seemed hilarious to watch and took the internet by storm. Turbin, the refree, had a savage look on his face towards Malcom for a few seconds, and before the expression could sink into the viewers, he followed it up with a sarcastic thumbs up.
Malcom today surprised referee on match Dynamo – Zenit by correct cross pass pic.twitter.com/5ayoE82LSf
— Andrey Davydov (@FarEasterner) August 10, 2019
Whatever the referee might have meant with his actions, it did look funny when the camera zoomed into the face of the Russian.
Malcom came in as a substitute in Zenit’s 2-0 win over Dynamo Moscow. Malcom came to Russia only before the start of the season after Zenit Saint Petersburg signed him from Barcelona for a fee that was reported to be around 40 million Euros.
Malcom had stayed in Barcelona only for a season, where he did not impress as much in his sporadic appearances. He played a total of 24 games in the 2018-19 season, scoring just four goals. The year though was beneficial to him in terms of winning competitions. He won the 2018-19 La Liga title and the Spanish Super Cup in his one year with the Catalans.
— Ⓜₐᵣᵢ 🇵🇱 | ⚽ SZN (@Everyone_heart) August 11, 2019
The 22-year old though, wasn’t exactly welcome in his new club. Zenit, who has had a history of not welcoming players from a particular race, had once again seen a few fans express their disappointment over the signing of ‘black’ player Malcom.
At the match against Krasnodar, a few unhappy fans held up a banner with a sarcastic message to the chiefs at the Russian club for signing Malcom.
“Thank you leadership for loyalty to traditions,” the message on the banner said.
Racist banners were raised against #Malcom the Brazilian Footballer after moving to @fczenit_en .
The Russian club's Fans chanted against him because of his color.
All the support to Malcom, and I encourage @UEFAcom to take action to stop this racist behaviors. pic.twitter.com/ew1SmeOf4S
— Wissam Ibrahim (@WissamAnber) August 5, 2019
Another black player in Douglas Costa was also playing the match for Zenit.
Another banner said “RIP Selection 12”, making reference to a manifesto created by Zenit fans association, Landskrona, where they had urged the club chiefs not to acquire black players.
Titled “Zenit and black players,” the manifesto was previously released online.
Zenit also issued a statement denying that the banner was racist. The statement read, “Zenit Football Club are aware a banner was revealed by a small number of individuals that read “Thank you leadership for believing in tradition” and that the meaning of this statement has been misrepresented in various parts of the media, and based on these misrepresentations, incorrect conclusions have been drawn that have no basis in reality.”