Spartak Moscow’s Under-19s captain Leonid Mironov will not face punishment by Uefa for allegedly racially abusing Liverpool starlet Rhian Brewster.
Uefa announced on Wednesday morning they had found “no evidence” to support Brewster’s allegations of racial abuse by Mironov during Liverpool Under-19s’ 2-0 win at home to Spartak in December.
However, Uefa said they believed Brewster had made his complaint in “complete good faith”.
Brewster, who won the World Cup with the England U-17 side last October, had to be restrained by his teammates at the end of the victory over Spartak in December before he told referee Mohammed Al-Hakim of the incident involving Mironov.
Uefa subsequently charged Mironov with racist behaviour and carried out an independent investigation into the incident, in which they asked players from both teams and the match officials about it.
In a statement released by the European governing body, they said: “The inspector took statements from five players from both teams, as well as from two match officials, who were in the vicinity of the alleged incident. None of these heard any discriminatory words.
“Leonid Mironov was also interviewed by the inspector and stated that he indeed swore at Rhian Brewster, but he unreservedly denied using any discriminatory language.
“After concluding his investigation, the inspector found no evidence to corroborate the allegations, which he believed were made in complete good faith by the Liverpool player Rhian Brewster.
“Therefore, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, following the recommendation of the inspector, established that there was no evidence that would legally support sanctioning the FC Spartak Moskva youth player Leonid Mironov and thus decided to close the disciplinary proceedings.”
In September, Liverpool’s Bobby Adekanye – who was born in Nigeria – was subjected to racist chants and gestures from some Spartak fans in Moscow.
Uefa responded by charging the Russian club – whose stadium will be used for this summer’s World Cup – and forcing them to partially close their academy stadium for their next fixture, which left just 500 seats empty.
Speaking about his experience of racism in football after the Spartak game, Brewster told The Guardian: “I love the game. I’m never going to stop loving it.
“It’s just disappointing to know it’s still in the game. If it wasn’t in the game, it would be so much better. You wouldn’t have to worry about playing abroad, worrying about what the fans are going to say, or what another player is going to say.
“I wouldn’t have to worry that if I score they are going to call me all types of names.”