Brazilian player banned in Ukraine for response to racism

The Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Brazilian player Taison was banned for one game Thursday for his reaction to racist abuse in a Ukrainian league game.

The Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder showed his middle finger to Dynamo Kyiv fans who had abused him with monkey chants and kicked the ball into the stands during a game Nov. 10. Taison was shown a red card.

The Ukrainian Football Association ordered Taison to serve a one-game ban plus a suspended two-game ban.

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Dynamo has been fined 500,000 hryvnyas ($20,000) and ordered to play one game behind closed doors. Another one-game sanction is suspended.

''Sanctioning a victim of racial abuse is beyond comprehension and it plays into the hands of those who promote this kind of disgraceful behavior,'' world player's union FIFPro said in a statement.

FIFPro had demanded Taison's red card be overturned.

Taison has played eight games for the Brazilian national team. He moved to Ukraine in 2010 with Metalist Kharkiv and joined Shakhtar three years later.

He has defended his actions as an anti-racist statement.

''The fight is not over,'' he wrote on Instagram on Wednesday.

Ukrainian police last week launched an investigation into the abuse and said they wanted to identify 20 suspects.

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