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Russian club drops 2 players after Instagram poem dispute

September 19, 2018

MOSCOW (AP) — Two Russian players have been left out of Spartak Moscow’s squad for a Europa League game amid a dispute over a poem posted on Instagram.

Spartak says captain Denis Glushakov and defender Andrei Yeshchenko won’t travel to Austria for Thursday’s game against Rapid Vienna.

They’re accused of pressing the “like” button on an Instagram video of Russian actor Dmitry Nazarov mocking Spartak coach Massimo Carrera. Speaking in verse, Nazarov says “Carrera isn’t our happiness” and wonders “how many disgraces do we need before our gratefulness runs out?”

Carrera won the Russian title with Spartak in 2017 but the club is already five points behind league leader Zenit St. Petersburg this season and was eliminated from Champions League qualifying.

The club hasn’t commented on the case directly and didn’t explain why the two were dropped.

Glushakov says he didn’t like the post in question. Yeshchenko hasn’t commented.

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