Russian club Spartak Moscow criticised for "racist" tweet about own players

Brazil international Luiz Adriano was among the three players stretching in the Twitter video

Top Russian football club Spartak Moscow was accused of racism on Saturday after posting a video on Twitter alongside a message that appeared to refer to its own black players as "chocolates". A video posted on the club's Twitter account showed Brazilian players Luiz Adriano, Pedro Rocha and Fernando exercising during a training camp in the United Arab Emirates. A message which translated as "see how the chocolates melt in the sun" accompanied the video, followed by three emojis of a smiley face.

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.

The same phrase is heard during the video, apparently spoken by Spartak and Russian Federation defender Georgy Dzhikiya.

It is not the first time this season Spartak have found themselves at the centre of racism claims.

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

"This shows a shocking level of ignorance", said Powar in a statement responding to Spartak's tweet.

The incident comes just six months before Russian Federation hosts the World Cup, and is the second alleged incidence of racism in which the club have been involved this season.

The club were forced to partially close their stadium by 500 seats after supporters shouted racially offensive chants at Liverpool's Bobby Adekanye during a UEFA Youth League match in September, while striker Rhian Brewster went public with his abuse by opposition defender Leonid Mironov - a case that UEFA have said will be dealt with by their Ethics and Disciplinary division.

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