Spartak sparks racism storm with offensive tweet

Spartak Moscow has tweeted a video of Pedro Rocha, Fernando and Luiz Adriano at its training camp with a racially insensitive caption.

Spartak Moscow forward Luiz Adriano (in picture) alongside Pedro Rocha and Fernando were the target of the club's racist message on Twitter.   -  Getty Images

Russian Premier League side Spartak Moscow has caused controversy by posting a racially insensitive tweet from its warm weather training camp.

A video uploaded to the club's Twitter page that appeared to show Pedro Rocha, Fernando and Luiz Adriano performing stretching exercises in Dubai was captioned: "See how chocolate melt [sic] in the sun."

Rocha, Fernando and Luiz Adriano are all black. It is not the first time this season Spartak has found themselves at the centre of racism claims.

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.

The 19-year-old faces a minimum ban of 10 matches if found guilty by European football's governing body. 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.

In response to Spartak's post, the UK-based anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out suggested the tweet underlined the prejudices faced by black people in Russia, which will host the World Cup later this year. "This social media post from the official account of Spartak Moscow only continues to highlight the prejudices towards black people in Russia," read a statement posted on the official Kick It Out Twitter page.

"It is a reminder, that along with the whole of football, there is significant work to do to eradicate racism of all forms from the sport."

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