Russian club Spartak Moscow tweeted a video accompanied by a racist reference to their own players on Saturday.
The club uploaded a video of four of their players in training, three of whom are black:
According to BBC Sport, the text accompanying the video translated as, “See how the chocolates melt in the sun.”
Several hours later, Spartak tweeted another video, which Russian football expert Artur Petrosyan translated:
FC Spartak Moscow @fcsm_official
Мой друг Фернандо всем передаёт привет от нашей красно-белой семьи 😊🔴⚪ #Джикия #Дубай #СпартаквОАЭ https://t.co/qx1zMu8pZS
Artur Petrosyan @arturpetrosyan
Here’s Spartak’s Fernando’s message to the West: “There’s no racism in Spartak. We are a united family.” https://t.co/vu0bFKkOo2
Piara Powar, head of anti-discriminatory group Fare, said:
“Racism is one of the biggest issues Russia faces in the year they host the World Cup. References like this show how some minorities are seen by some in the country.
“For Russia’s biggest club to tolerate and then celebrate racist references of this kind is wrong.
“They were sanctioned for Islamophobic chanting recently, but clearly the message has not reached the players or the club management.”
The Kick It Out campaign also reacted to the post:
Kick It Out @kickitout
This social media post from the official account of Spartak Moscow only continues to highlight the prejudices towards black people in Russia.
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. https://t.co/x4w3R5CT83
Spartak were sanctioned by UEFA earlier this season after their supporters racially abused Liverpool forward Bobby Adekanye during the Reds’ UEFA Youth League match in September.
In the return fixture at Prenton Park, Spartak defender Leonid Mironov allegedly abused Rhian Brewster and has also been charged by UEFA.
According to the Guardian‘s Alec Luhn, there were over 150 reports involving racism between 2012 and 2014 alone.