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Spartak Moscow posts 'racist' tweet about its own players

MOSCOW (AP) Russian soccer champion Spartak Moscow has been accused of racism after tweeting a message which appeared to refer to its own black players as "chocolates."

A video posted on the club's Twitter account showed Brazilian players Luis Adriano, Pedro Rocha and Fernando exercising during a training camp in the United Arab Emirates. A message which translated as "see how the chocolates melt in the sun" accompanied the video, followed by three emojis of a smiley face.

The same phrase is heard during the video, apparently spoken by Spartak and Russia defender Georgy Dzhikiya. Spartak earlier said Dzhikiya would take control of its Twitter feed for the day.

Russia is hosting the World Cup finals, which start June 14.

Anti-discrimination group the FARE Network, which investigates racism issues for UEFA, criticized Spartak.

FARE executive director Piara Powar says "this shows a shocking level of ignorance," adding that "for Russia's biggest club to tolerate and then celebrate racist references of this kind is wrong."

Russia is hosting the World Cup finals, which start June 14.

Updated January 13, 2018

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