Football

Hulk to feature in World Cup draw

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Brazil striker Hulk has been announced as one of the star names taking part in the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup only days after he raised fears of racism at the tournament in Russia.

Hulk, who plays for Zenit St Petersburg, said he encountered racism in "almost every game" in Russia. He will be one of the draw assistants along with others including compatriot Ronaldo, former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o.

The draw takes place in St Petersburg, home city of Zenit, and will see countries allocated to the qualifying competitions for the tournament.

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Hulk said in a statement released by FIFA: "I'm really happy. I feel flattered by the invitation to take part of this event that kicks off the way towards the next World Cup. I feel plainly adapted to Russia and my family really likes St. Petersburg.

"Because I travel quite a lot, I'm seeing the construction works throughout the host cities and the build-up of the new stadiums, especially over the last year. From the window of my flat I have a view to Zenit's new stadium, which will be used in the World Cup. It looks beautiful. I hope to be able to play the next World Cup, here, close to my home."

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Hulk is the most expensive signing in Russia and has repeatedly encountered monkey chants - and also claimed a referee had racially abused him.

Earlier this week he said: "If it (racism) happens in the World Cup, it will be really gross and really ugly. Usually it happens when Russian clubs play and it doesn't come out to the world and the world doesn't know about this," he said through a translator.

"I must say that almost every game I see this happening. I used to get angry, but now I see this doesn't help, so I just send a kiss to our fans and try not to get angry.

The draw takes place at the Konstantin Palace in St Petersburg on Saturday July 25.

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Topics:
World Cup
Brazil Football
Football

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