October 1, 2014 / 8:02 AM / 5 years ago

Hulk suffers racial abuse in Russian league game

MOSCOW Russia (Reuters) - The Russian Premier League was rocked by a second instance of racial abuse in less than a week when it was confirmed that Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk was the target of monkey chants from visiting Spartak Moscow fans on Saturday.

Zenit's Hulk celebrates his goal against Benfica during their Champions League Group C soccer match at Luz stadium in Lisbon September 16, 2014. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

The 28-year-old Brazil international told a Russian newspaper that he could hear the disgraceful taunts from fans of the Moscow club during the 0-0 draw at Petrovsky Stadium.

“During the game, racist abuse was directed towards me from the Spartak section of the ground,” Hulk was quoted as saying by the Sport Express newspaper on Wednesday.

“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.”

Russian Football Union (RFS) disciplinary committee chief Artur Grigoryants confirmed that racial abuse had taken place before the panel announced a relatively light punishment against Spartak Moscow later on Wednesday.

“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.”

The RFS have since banned Spartak Moscow supporters from attending the club’s next away game at Ural Yekaterinenburg on Oct. 19.

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

Last Thursday, the disciplinary committee slapped Torpedo Moscow with sanctions after the club’s fans were found guilty of directing monkey chants towards Dynamo Moscow defender Christopher Samba.

A section of the ground containing the most fanatical supporters will be closed for their next home game against Kuban Krasnodar on Oct. 25.

The French-born Congo international also received a two-match ban after making an obscene gesture towards the Torpedo fans following the abuse that happened in last Monday’s game.

Editing by John O'Brien

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