- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) - Former Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong faces a multi-game ban after he was sent off in Russia for his response to alleged racist abuse.

The Ghanaian midfielder says he was taunted by a Spartak Moscow fan while playing for FC Ufa in the opening game of the Russian Premier League season Friday. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Frimpong gestured with a finger toward the Spartak stands in the 31st minute, for which he received a straight red card.

Afterward, he said on Twitter that he had been “racially abused for the game that I love.”

He added: “I’m going to serve a sentence for being abused … and yet we (are) going to hold a World Cup in this country.”

Three other black players have been punished since 2013 for insulting gestures in reaction to racist abuse in the Russian league. The disciplinary regulations specify a punishment of between two and four games for displaying such gestures.

The incident comes as Russia prepares to host the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup on July 25. Russia has come in for heavy criticism for its record of racism at football matches.

Last year, five-time Russian champion CSKA Moscow was forced to play all three of its home Champions League group stage games in empty stadiums because of a string of UEFA punishments for racist and violent incidents by its fans.

Another club, Torpedo Moscow, was found guilty in four separate fan racism cases last season while playing in the Russian Premier League.

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