‘Racist behavior’: Spartak youth captain faces 10-game ban over Liverpool match charge

‘Racist behavior’: Spartak youth captain faces 10-game ban over Liverpool match charge
Spartak Moscow youth team captain Leonid Mironov is facing a minimum 10-game suspension if he is found guilty of racist behaviour towards Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster, which allegedly occurred during a UEFA Youth League game on Wednesday.

Brewster, 17, had to be physically held back by team-mates in the closing stages of the match after an on-field incident at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park stadium.

After the match, which Liverpool won 2-0, Brewster said that he had been verbally abused by Mironov, and Liverpool subsequently filed a complaint to UEFA.

European football's governing body has since confirmed they have charged Mironov, 19, with “racist behaviour”, for a breach of Article 14 of UEFA’s Disciplinary Regulations, and has opened disciplinary proceedings against the player.

The date of the hearing has yet to be confirmed.

Article 14 of UEFA’s regulations states that “Any person...who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons on whatever grounds, including skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin, incurs a suspension lasting at least ten matches or a specified period of time, or any other appropriate sanction.”

It is the second time this season that the Reds have made a complaint against the Moscow-based club, after Spartak fans directed 'monkey chants' at Liverpool’s Bobby Adekanye during their first encounter in the Russian capital in September.

In response, UEFA ordered Spartak to close 500 seats at their academy stadium for one game and to display a banner over the empty seats, with the message #EqualGame, an initiative set up by UEFA to “positively promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in football throughout Europe.”

British anti-racism organisation Kick It Out, which works closely with the club on matters regarding racism, called the treatment of the Liverpool players “disgraceful”.

Brewster is considered a top talent in Liverpool's U-18 team, managed by former captain and Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard. Brewster won the FIFA U-17 World Cup with England in October.