MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) have fined Spartak Moscow 700,000 rubles ($9,135) after two bananas were thrown on the ice from the stands at the end of a game against Medvescak Zagreb on Wednesday.
Game officials recorded the incident in their report, while Medvescak forward Edwin Hedberg, the only black player on either team, believed he was the intended victim of the racially motivated incident.
On Thursday, the KHL released an official statement which admitted a “racist episode” had taken place and that they had handed Spartak a 700,000-rouble fine as well as issuing the club a stern warning.
“The league points out that the violations, which are related to the incitement of racial, ethnic and international hatred is inadmissible. Supporters must behave in a civilized manner in the stands,” the KHL said on their website (www.khl.ru).
Spartak said they had issued an official apology to both Medvescak and Hedberg with the Moscow club adding that video cameras at the arena had helped identify supporters who threw the fruit on the ice.
“We are sure that these two supporters will be dealt with in accordance to the laws of the Russian Federation,” a statement on Spartak’s website (www.spartak.ru) read.
The KHL involves 28 clubs from seven countries in Europe and Asia and is widely regarded as the second most prestigious professional competition in the world behind the North American National Hockey League (NHL).
($1 = 76.6275 rouble)
Editing by John O'Brien