No racism at Spartak Moscow, say filmed club players

Spartak Moscow players described as "chocolates melting in the sun" by the Russian team's Twitter account claim that "there is no racism" at the club.

Spartak Moscow players described as "chocolates melting in the sun" by the Russian team's Twitter account have said "there is no racism" at the club.

In a short video published on Saturday, which has since been deleted, Spartak showed three black players doing drills at a training camp in Dubai.

"Look at how the chocolates are melting under the sun," the video's caption said, accompanied with smiley face, chocolate bar, and sun emojis.

The footage prompted criticism on social media and was followed up with a disapproving statement by FIFA, but the club has responded with a new video message featuring the players concerned.

In the new post, Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano said that Georgi Dzhikiya - who filmed the original video - was "my brother" and "a club legend", adding: "I love you my friend. There's no racism at Spartak."

Dzhikiya said: "There is no racism in our team, we are all brothers, we're one big family," before Fernando and Pedro Rocha - the other two players referred to as "chocolates" - also appeared smiling alongside Dzhikiya, who kisses Adriano on the cheek, and repeat the message that "there is no racism at Spartak".

Russia has pledged to crack down on racism as the country faces increased scrutiny ahead of this year's World Cup, while Spartak are under investigation by UEFA after fans allegedly hurled racist abuse at Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster in a youth game in December.

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