Top Russian football club Spartak Moscow was accused of racism on Saturday after posting a video on Twitter alongside a message that appeared to refer to its own black players as “chocolates.”
Spartak uploaded a video of Brazilian players Luiz Adriano, Pedro Rocha and Fernando in training in the United Arab Emirates alongside a message translating as “see how chocolates melt in the sun.”
The message was followed by several emojis of laughing faces, a sun and chocolate bars.
Anti-discrimination group FARE Network was among those to condemn the club, saying it had shown a “shocking level of ignorance.”
Football equality group Kick it Out also criticised Spartak, saying the post “only continues to highlight the prejudices towards black people in Russia.”
Amid the outcry on social media, Spartak deleted the controversial tweet.
It later posted a video in which Fernando says: "At Spartak there is no racism. We are a friendly family."
Saturday’s controversial tweet is not the first time the club has been accused of racism.
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.