Spartak spark racism storm with offensive tweet

Spartak spark racism storm with offensive tweet

Spartak were instantly condemned on Twitter after posting the video with social media users calling the club a "disgrace" and accusing them of racism.

Rocha, Fernando and Luiz Adriano are all black.

Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino insisted racism will not be tolerated during the tournament and said World Cup referees had been given the power to abandon matches should they deem it necessary.

Russian champions Spartak Moscow, already sanctioned by UEFA this season for racist behaviour, sparked further condemnation on Saturday after a club tweet that likened its black players to "chocolates".

The video's caption "see how the chocolate melts in the sun" was accompanied by a series of smiley face, sunshine and chocolate bar emojis.

The tweet comes just six months before Russian Federation hosts its first ever World Cup, and one week after Liverpool officially complained to UEFA over alleged racist abuse aimed at Rhian Brewster from Spartak players in the U19 match in December.

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A later video showed Dzhikiya and the three Brazilians arm-in-arm, with the Russian worldwide saying: "There is no racism at Spartak, we are all a big family".

Russian Federation is hosting the World Cup finals, which start June 14.

"This shows a shocking level of ignorance. References like this show how some minorities are seen by some in the country", said Piara Powar.

"Racism is one of the biggest issues Russian Federation faces in the year they host the World Cup, references of this kind show how some minorities are seen by some people in the country". Mironov denies any racist comments and has claimed Brewster made up the incident so he would be banned.

In September, Liverpool's Nigeria-born attacker Bobby Adekanye was subjected to racist chants and gestures from Spartak supporters in Moscow during a Uefa Youth League game.

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