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Liverpool make racial complaint against Russian club

Bobby Adekanye was allegedly racially abused in youth match vs Spartak Moscow

Bobby Adekanye in action against Spartak Moskva during their Uefa Youth League match. Photograph: Getty Images

Liverpool have made a formal complaint to Uefa after their 18-year-old winger Bobby Adekanye was allegedly racially abused during a youth match against Spartak Moscow.

Adekanye, a Nigerian-born Dutch youth international, is alleged to have been subjected to racial chants and gestures when he appeared as a second-half substitute in a Uefa Youth League game in Moscow on Tuesday. Liverpool’s academy director, Alex Inglethorpe, and members of his staff are believed to have witnessed the incidents at the Spartak Academy and their observations have been reported to European football’s governing body.

The teenager was introduced in the 59th minute of Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat in Russia by the coach Steven Gerrard and the club are awaiting a response from Uefa.

Liverpool’s complaint comes amid increased scrutiny on the Russian football authorities to address racism problems in the buildup to next summer’s World Cup. No incidents were reported by Liverpool from their Champions League draw against Spartak later on Tuesday, a game that the manager Jürgen Klopp said was played amid “a really good atmosphere”.

Spartak, however, are facing three new charges from Uefa following the 1-1 draw at the Otkrytiye Arena. Home supporters unveiled a banner that read ‘Uefa Mafia’ and also let off smoke bombs after Fernando scored for their team. Uefa has also opened disciplinary proceedings against Spartak for “illicit chants” – understood to be against the governing body – and for blocking stairways.

The new charges, as well as the banner and chants, come after Spartak were fined £60,000 and their fans banned from their next Champions League away game, at Sevilla, for firing a flare in the direction of the referee in the draw with Maribor in Slovenia.

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