Former Blackburn defender Chris Samba was given a two-match ban yesterday by the Russian Football Union (RFS) for his gesture towards Torpedo Moscow fans who had racially abused him.
Samba acted angrily during a match on September 2 between Torpedo Moscow and Dynamo Moscow, when Torpedo fans hurled racial insults towards him and the 30-year-old responded by raising his middle finger towards the crowd.
The former Premier League player was so upset by the incident that he had to be substituted at half-time.
Torpedo were ordered on Thursday to close their west stand for their next game against Kuban Krasnodar on October 25.
But the RFS also decided to punish Samba for his gesture.
“We took into account what happened on the pitch and that he was provoked. Therefore we gave the lightest possible punishment,” said Artur Grigoryants, head of the RFS disciplinary committee.
Samba later apologised for the gesture but added: “I want to play football and not have to listen to racial taunts.”
It is not the first time he has been racially abused by fans in Russia. Back in 2012 while playing for Anzi Makhachkala a banana was thrown on the pitch which Samba threw back into the crowd and escaped punishment.