Russian football was hit by a new race storm July 17 when Ghana's Emmanuel Frimpong was sent-off after just 30 minutes of the season opener for reacting to a stream of abuse.
Former Arsenal star Frimpong, playing for Ufa in the Russian Premier League, received a straight red card on the half-hour mark for making an obscene gesture at Spartak Moscow supporters, who he said taunted him.
"I want to apologize for the sending off after being provoked, shouldn't have happened but also am a human being," the 23-year-old Frimpong later tweeted after the game, which ended 2-2.
"Racially abused for the game that I love... I'm going to serve a sentence for being abused."
Three other black players have been punished since 2013 for insulting gestures in reaction to racist abuse in the Russian league.
Russian teams as well as players have been penalized for racist and violent incidents perpetrated by their fans.
Frimpong said the record of abuse doesn't bode well for Russia's hosting of the World Cup in 2018, when "Africans will have to come play football" there.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP