FIFA has condemned a racially-charged tweet by Russian champions Spartak Moscow which again spotlighted concerns about racism in this year’s World Cup host nation.
“FIFA condemns the message published on the Twitter account of Spartak Moscow,” said the global football body in an emailed statement to Reuters. “As said many times, any form of discrimination on or outside the field is unacceptable and has no place in football.”
In a short video published on their Twitter account on Saturday, the club showed three black players, including Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano, doing drills at a training camp in Dubai.
“Look at how the chocolates are melting under the sun,” the video’s caption said. Russia has pledged to crack down on racism as the country faces increased scrutiny ahead of this year’s World Cup.
FIFA added that it was up to the Russian Football Union to deal with the incident.
“As to the handling of this matter, this falls under the responsibility of the relevant national body,” said FIFA.
FIFA added that its decision-making Council emphasised last May that “member associations and referees should be ready to adopt a strict policy to deal with incidents of a racist nature.”
Spartak Moscow have been fined on several occasions for their fans’ racist behaviour. European football’s governing body UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Spartak youth player Leonid Mironov last month after he allegedly racially abused Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster.
The World Cup will be held from June 14 to July 15 across 12 venues in 11 cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi.