'See how the chocolate melts in the sun'

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Russian club Spartak Moscow have landed themselves in the middle of a racism storm after they posted a video of some black members of their squad training in the sunshine with the caption "see how chocolate melts in the sun".

A video posted on the club's Twitter account showed Brazilian players Luiz Adriano, Pedro Rocha and Fernando exercising during a training camp in the United Arab Emirates.

Spartak had seemingly turned its Twitter account over to defender Georgy Dzhikiya for the day.

The tweet was published around 0900 GMT and retweeted over 1,400 times, triggering a wave of criticism before it was deleted nearly five hours later. The players had their arms around each other, and Adriano said, "This is my friend, my brother".

It's the third time Spartak have been at the centre of racism controversy in a matter of months.

But the club was condemned by European anti-discrimination groups, which noted Spartak's - and Russia's - history of racism. "References like this show how some minorities are seen by some in the country", said Piara Powar.

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Spartak was ordered to close part of its stadium for another Youth League game after UEFA ruled its fans abused Liverpool striker Bobby Adekanye with monkey chants.

"This social media post from the official account of Spartak Moscow only continues to highlight the prejudices towards black people in Russian Federation", read a statement posted on the official Kick It Out Twitter page.

Russian Federation host the 2018 World Cup finals in June but some players have raised concerns over their suitability given that racist incidents remain commonplace in the country's domestic league.

They were sanctioned for Islamophobic chanting recently but clearly the message has not reached the players or the club management.

Leonid Mironov, the 19-year-old captain of the Spartak side, was charged with racist behaviour last month during a UEFA Youth League game against Liverpool.

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