Spartak Moscow-Racism,1st Ld-Writethru

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

The Russian football club Spartak Moscow has drawn accusations of racism over a tweet they published about some of their players.

BC-SOC-Spartak Moscow-Racism, 1st Ld-Writethru, 292Spartak Moscow posts "racist" tweet about its own playersEds: Updates with new Spartak video denying racism, adds background on previous incidents. Deletes repetition of Russian Federation hosting World Cup detail.

The post, featuring chocolate bar and sun emoji symbols, has since been deleted.

Spartak later posted a video in which Fernando says: "At Spartak there is no racism".

Anti-discrimination group FARE Network was among those to condemn the club, saying it had shown a "shocking level of ignorance".

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

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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.

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

Liverpool made a formal complaint to UEFA after Brewster accused Spartak defender Leonid Mironov of abusing him during the meeting between the club's Under-19 sides.

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.

Spartak was ordered to close part of its stadium for another Youth League game after UEFA ruled its fans had abused Liverpool striker Bobby Adekanye with monkey chants.

"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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