Spartak Moscow’s captain Leonid Mironov has been charged with racist behaviour towards Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster during a Uefa Youth League match, European football’s governing body has announced.
Liverpool reported Spartak to Uefa after Brewster, a member of England Under-17s World Cup winning team, made an allegation that he had been verbally racially abused.
The 17-year-old had to be restrained by team-mates and coaching staff on the final whistle as he vented his anger. The Merseyside club later confirmed that they had “followed the proper procedure by reporting the alleged incident to Uefa”.
It is the second time this season that the Reds have made a complaint against Spartak after Brewster’s team-mate Bobby Adekanye was racially abused by fans during a game in Moscow in September.
On that occasion, Spartak were ordered by Uefa to close at least 500 seats at their academy ground for their next home fixture.
Kick It Out sent out a stinging response to the alleged abuse on Wednesday, pointing the finger at Uefa for its lack of action on the issue.
Its statement read: “Less than two months ago, Spartak Moscow supporters were found guilty of racially abusing Liverpool’s Bobby Adenkanye, however it is clear that Uefa’s punishment of a partial stadium closure was far from sufficient to protect Liverpool’s players. Kick It Out has worked closely with Liverpool over the past two years to offer support regarding on-field incidents of discrimination, and believes the club has been let down by Uefa in their response.
“Kick It Out expects a swift investigation by Uefa. Should the Spartak Moscow player be found guilty, the club must receive a far stronger punishment if Europe’s governing body is truly serious about ensuring that football is an ‘#EqualGame’. It is also extremely concerning to this organisation that yet another incident has taken place involving a Russian club, particularly ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
“Players and supporters have been told on several occasions by the Russian Football Association that racism is not a serious problem in Russian football. However, incidents such as these undermine any confidence black and minority ethnic footballers or supporters will have in their ability to attend the World Cup in Russia without suffering racial abuse.”
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