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

Spartak players Pedro Rocha Neves and Fernando smile to the camera for the Twitter video

Note language.Russian soccer champion Spartak Moscow has been accused of racism after tweeting a message which appeared to refer to its own black players as "chocolates".

Spartak Moscow have become embroiled in a fresh racism row after posting a tweet about three black players.

The tweet came from the club's official account and shows Spartak trio Luiz Adriano, Pedro Rocha and Fernando stretching in the United Arab Emirates sunshine.

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

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. "We are a friendly family".

Anti-discrimination group the FARE Network, which investigates racism issues for European soccer's governing body UEFA, criticized Spartak.

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It is not the first time Spartak have been censured over racist behaviour this season.

Liverpool striker Bobby Adekanye was subjected to racist chants and gestures from Spartak supporters in Moscow during a Uefa Youth League game in September, while last month Spartak defender Leonid Mironov was charged with racially abusing Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster.

"Racism is one of the biggest issues Russian Federation faces in the year they host the World Cup".

Spartak fans were also found guilty of abusing Liverpool's Bobby Adekanye during a Youth League fixture in Russian Federation.

Russia, billed to host the FIFA World Cup in June has a long history of racial prejudices and intolerance.

"With the World Cup only a few months away, it is a reminder that Russian Federation - as with the whole of football - has significant work to do to eradicate racism of all forms from the game".