Super Eagles striker, Emmanuel Emenike who plays for Spartak Moscow has been fined $17,000 for an offensive finger gesture towards opposing fans who racially abused him in a Russian Premier League football match.
Emenike also received a suspended sentence until the end of the season for pointing his middle finger in a direction of Dynamo Moscow fans during Sunday’s derby which Spartak won 3-1.
“We decided that it was an adequate punishment,” Vladimir Vasilyev, deputy chairman of the Russian FA’s ethics committee, said. “We also took into account the fact that the player later apologised for his action.”
Emenike said “he was sorry he could not hold back his temper” towards Dynamo fans, who were making monkey noises when the Nigeria international touched the ball.
The Russian FA (RFU) did not punish the club for the racist chanting, although Spartak and Dynamo were fined $6,800 and $680 respectively for their fans throwing snow balls at the players. Spartak received a bigger fine because one of the snow balls hit a Dynamo player.
Spartak coach Valery Karpin said the FA had failed to address the racist behaviour of the Dynamo fans.
“I have to agree that Emenike did something that he should not have done,” the former Russia international told reporters.
“But at the same time I couldn’t follow logic in the FA’s decision as they didn’t take any action against the Dynamo fans who had racially abused Emenike,” he said.
“I’m glad they didn’t ban Emenike, otherwise it would have looked like an outright racial discrimination.”
The Emenike case was the latest in a series of racist incidents in the Russian Premier League.
This month, a banana was thrown at Anzhi Makhachkala’s Congolese defender Christopher Samba in a match at Lokomotiv Moscow. Another Anzhi player, Brazilian full back Roberto Carlos, had bananas thrown at him at stadiums in St Petersburg and Samara last year.
Coincidently, the Russian authorities on Friday revealed the person responsible for throwing the banana at Samba.
“We had identified him, he’s a college student from Moscow. We had sent his case to the police,” Vasilyev said.
The RFU did not punish either club over the Samba incident.