Former Bafana Bafana player MacBeth Sibaya says racism in South Africa is worse than anything he experienced playing in Russia.
Sibaya, who has now retired from playing, spent seven years in Russia at Rubin Kazan from 2003.
“They are very curious – I wouldn’t say it’s racism because I live here in South Africa so I know what racism is,” he told BBC Sport.
“Racism is a system and I didn’t see a system directed at hating blacks.”
The 40-year-old, who was part of the South Africa squad at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, admits there are problems in Russia but not on the scale of South Africa.
“I’m not denying that it [racism] happens, but I am saying I live in South Africa – I know racism – it’s not like that in Russia,” he insisted.
He also had some advice for any African fans following their team at the World Cup:
“I’d say they have to be as African as they can be, because that is your strength.”