World Cup: Brazilian Fans' Sexually Offensive Chant Causes Uproar

brazil teammates and fans - world cup - H Associated Press 2018
AP Photo/Felipe Dana

A local women's rights activist demanded an apology and punishment for the fans.

A South American soccer chant has sparked controversy at the World Cup. 

Russian women's rights activist Alyona Popova has sent a petition to the country's interior ministry and Brazil's embassy in Russia, demanding an apology and punishment for Brazilian soccer fans who sang a sexually offensive chant with an unsuspecting Russian woman, the local online magazine Lenta reported.

Popova's move was triggered by a video that surfaced on Telegram messaging service a few days before in which a young Russian woman, who apparently doesn't understand Portuguese, is seen trying to sing along with some Brazilian fans. What they are actually singing turns out to be translated as "Russian pink vagina."

Popova said in her petition that the incident "debases that woman as well as all Russian women."

The Brazilian fans should "publicly apologize for sexism and violation of Russian laws" and should also be punished under Russia's administrative code, she added. Technically, the fans could be fined for verbal assault.

The video first caused uproar among social media users from Brazil, who translated the chant, and then their sentiment was shared by people in Russia.

Overall incidents like this have been few and far between since the World Cup kicked off a week ago.

However, Russian women were also upset by the Russian division of Burger King's online ad campaign encouraging women to get impregnated by World Cup foreign players. After a storm of criticism on social media, the global fast-food chain pulled the ads and apologized.