Russia’s Football Union (RFU) has placed FC Spartak Moscow on probation for its fans’ racist chants against a player of a rival team during a derby last week.
Authorities have been cracking down on acts of hooliganism and xenophobia in the months running up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup that Russia hosts less than 100 days from now.
The RFU ruled to provisionally bar Spartak fans from attending the team’s next home game, the Championat.com website reported following the decision on Wednesday.
The club was also fined 350,000 rubles ($6,100) for its fans’ racist chants against Lokomotiv Moscow’s Guilherme Marinato during a hostile Moscow derby on Sunday.
“Why the **** does Russia’s national team need a monkey?” the fans reportedly chanted, targeting Lokomotiv's Brazilian-born goalkeeper Guilherme, who received Russian citizenship in 2015 and now trains with Russia's national team.
Spartak had already been fined for the same chant after a Russian Supercup game against Lokomotiv last July.
The team landed in hot water in January when the club’s Twitter account posted a video of its black players with a caption saying: “see how the chocolates melt in the sun.”