Russian football club criticised for tweet referencing black players as melting chocolates

  • Russian football club criticised for tweet referencing black players as melting chocolates

Russian football club criticised for tweet referencing black players as melting chocolates

A message which translated as "see how the chocolates melt in the sun" accompanied the video, followed by three emojis of a smiley face.

Spartak had seemingly turned its Twitter account over to defender Georgy Dzhikiya for the day.

Spartak later posted a video in which Fernando says: "At Spartak there is no racism". Dzhikiya was reportedly speaking the same phrase in the video.

"We're all one big family", Dzhikiya said, before Luiz Adriano added: "This is my friend, my brother. a legend of Spartak". The Krasnodar forward 10 goals in 13 matches so far during the Russian Premier League season, and scored twice against Spain in a friendly for the national team previous year.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Piara Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe, highlighted the troubling nature of the tweet in a year when Russian Federation are set to host the World Cup.

Piara Powar, executive director at the FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) network, labelled racism as a major issue to be addressed in Russian Federation ahead of the World Cup.

"This shows a shocking level of ignorance".

"For Russia's biggest club to tolerate and then celebrate racist references of this kind is wrong", said Piara Powar, the head of European anti-discrimination organisation Fare network, in comments carried by the BBC.

Leonid Mironov, the club's youth-team captain, was last month charged with racist behaviour towards Liverpool's Rhian Brewster during a UEFA Youth League match.

Russian Federation host the 2018 World Cup finals in June but some players have raised concerns over their suitability given that racist incidents remain commonplace in the country's domestic league.

After the initial game between the sides in Moscow this season, Liverpool made a complaint after Brewster's team-mate Bobby Adekanye was racially abused by fans.