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Russian football official denies reports of racist chants at Spartak-Liverpool match

September 27, 14:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Brazilian media reported after the match that racist chants were heard from spectators’ stands during the game and they were addressed to Sadio Mane

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) has no information about reported racism manifestations during the UEFA Champions League match this week in Moscow between football clubs Spartak Moscow and Liverpool, Russia’s senior football official told TASS on Wednesday.

The second-leg group stage match of the UEFA Champions League between Spartak and Liverpool FCs ended on Tuesday night at the Okritie-Arena with 1-1 draw and the game’s attendance was registered at about 43,000 spectators.

Brazilian news web portal Globo reported after the match that racist chants were heard from spectators’ stands during the game and they were addressed to Liverpool’s 25-year-old winger Sadio Mane of Senegal.

"I have no such information and I state this with 100-percent certainty," Vladimir Markin, the head of the Russian Football Union’s (RFU) Committee on security and interaction with football fans, said in an interview with TASS.

According to Markin, in most cases foreign media representatives tend to cover sports events in Russia from a negative stance.

"They sometimes come with the only purpose to report dirty stories," Markin said adding that "it is impossible to see something for real if one comes to work with a beam in his or her own eyes."

"However, if one has definite instructions from the senior management, it will be enough not only to eyewitness, but to imagine or recall what is happening at the stands of their home stadiums," he said. "Unfortunately, many western journalists have been recently working this way and what depresses me the most that it goes for sports journalism as well."

Asked how the match in the UEFA Champions League match last night in Moscow was organized from the stance of security provision, Markin said "I believe that it was satisfactory and no negative incidents were reported."

Security and fans behavior before, during and after football matches is in particular focus of the Russian football authorities as the country is currently in full swing preparations for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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