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MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. An issue of race-hatred manifestations among fans during football matches is a problem not for Russia only, but other countries as well, Russia’s senior football official told TASS on Wednesday.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced on Wednesday that it launched a probe against youth football club Spartak Moscow on accusations of racist behavior of the club’s fans last week.
British daily The Telegraph reported earlier that Liverpool FC filed a complaint with the UEFA claiming that during the group stage match last week on Tuesday in the Russian capital, which hosts won 2-1, racist chants were heard from the stadium stands of Spartak Moscow FC fans and were addressed to 18-year-old striker Bobby Adekanye from Liverpool FC.
"It is hard to identify who was exactly involved in the incident and a separate probe must be launched at a level of law-enforcement bodies," 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.
"However, it would be absolutely wrong asserting that this problem is acute for Russia only, but not for the rest of the countries," he said. "This problem is universal for the whole world and is either emerging from the typical foolishness of teenagers, who do not realize what they are doing, or is a result of an undoubted provocation."
According to UEFA’s statement on Wednesday, charges against FC Spartak Moscow youth squad include "Racist behavior (monkey chants)."
"This case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on 19 October," the statement added.
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.