Russian Football Union Investigating Claims Of Racial Abuse Against Brazilian Forward Hulk

Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk has informed the Russian Football Union of racial abuse directed towards him by Spartak Moscow fans during a Russian Premier League match this past weekend. The Russian Football Union is now investigating the incidents and will likely explain what action it will be take within the next 24 hours.

“During the game, racist abuse was directed towards me from the Spartak section of the ground,” the Brazilian forward told the publication, Sport Express.

“In the first half, I clearly heard monkey chants shouted in my direction and this was not only on one occasion. It was coming from a large group of people.”

“This happened at least twice – midway through the first half and during injury time at the end of the first half.”

“I take this as a personal insult for me and my club. I think that such things have absolutely no place and the football powers that be must take action in the fight against the occurrence of racial hatred.”

Arthur Grigoryants, the head of the Russian Football Union disciplinary committee, confirmed that the racial abuse had taken place.

“We have a video of the match; in the 24th minute and in the 45th minute, monkey chanting can be heard being directed at Hulk,” Grigoryants said.

“The monkey chants came from the visitors’ section of the ground. The match delegate did not hear them during the game, but only afterwards, when he re-watched it.”

This is the second major incident involving racism within the Russian Premier League in the past seven days.

Last Thursday, the disciplinary committee sanctioned Torpedo Moscow after the club’s fans were found guilty of racially abusing Dynamo Moscow defender Christopher Samba. The former QPR and Blackburn defender was later handed a two-match ban for making an obscene gesture towards Torpedo fans in response to the abuse.

Torpedo Moscow will now have the section of their home ground containing its most fanatical supporters closed for their next home game on October 25th against Kuban Krasnodar.

However, all other parts of the Saturn Stadium will remain open and there is no restriction in place to prevent Torpedo’s ‘ultras’ from buying tickets to sit elsewhere in the stadium.

These stories also come on the heels of the announcement from UEFA that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against supporters of CSKA Moscow and AS Roma for crowd violence during their Champions League Matchday One encounter in Rome.

During the second half of Roma’s 5-1 victory over CSKA Moscow, traveling supporters attacked stewards and threw lit fireworks into the Roma section. The crowd violence led to the intervention of Italian riot police and eventually to the arrest of five Russian fans.

In all, thirteen stewards needed medical treatment for injuries and one police officer was left with a broken jaw.

There were also reports of two injured CSKA Moscow fans prior to the match, after supporters broke through a security barrier to confront Roma’s ‘ultras’.

Part of the UEFA disciplinary proceedings opened against CSKA Moscow for that contest included “racist behavior of supporters”.

Last season fans of the Russian champions were found guilty of racist chants during matches against Manchester City and Viktoria Plzen.

Yesterday, the CSKA’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich was played behind closed doors as punishment for supporters’ racist chants during the match against Viktoria Plzen in December 2013.

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