Russia bans black club player 3 matches for offending fans who racially abused him

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MOSCOW — The Russian Football Union banned a club player for three matches on Friday for showing an offensive gesture to fans who racially abused him.

FC Rostov midfielder Guelor Kanga, from Gabon, was targeted with monkey chants by Spartak Moscow fans in the Russian Premier League on Thursday, and responded by showing them his middle finger.

In addition to a three-match ban, Kanga was fined 50,000 rubles ($930) for the "insulting gesture to fans," the RFU said.

Spartak was fined 70,000 rubles ($1,300) for "the chanting by fans of insulting expressions," a charge which usually refers to swearing, rather than the separate offense of racist chanting.

In September, Dynamo Moscow's Congolese defender, Christopher Samba, was given a two-match ban in similar circumstances after Russian fans racially abused him.

Spartak and Rostov drew 1-1 at Moscow's Otkrytye Arena, a 2018 World Cup venue.

Rostov coach Igor Gamula was already banned from the fixture as part of a five-match sanction for discriminatory comments about black players on his own team.

So far this season, defending Russian champion CSKA Moscow has been punished for fan racism in the Champions League, while Spartak and Torpedo Moscow have faced racism charges in the Russian Premier League.

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