Villas-Boas furious over racist taunts aimed at Brazilian striker Hulk

Zenit St Petersburg manager Andre Villas-Boas has branded Torpedo Moscow fans a "disgrace'' after striker Hulk was allegedly subjected to racist taunts in their 1-1 draw away at the Saturn Stadium.

Sections of the Torpedo support allegedly directed monkey noises towards the Brazilian, who opened the scoring for the Russian Premier League leaders in the 35th minute.

It is the latest racism incident to blight Russian football and Villas-Boas was furious.

He told his club's official website: "It's a disgrace to football, it's a disgrace to the public. That's something that shouldn't happen.''

Hulk registered his dismay afterwards, but took the jeers in his stride, responding by raising a hand to his ear before blowing the Torpedo fans a kiss.

"What can you do in those situations than just react with a smile? If I react to the fans with respect, then maybe I'll get the same in return,'' said the 28-year-old.

"I can only just feel sorry about what happened and call all football fans to respect the game, the players and keep everything in a good tone. Football should unite people, and not divide them up for different reasons.

"You can't understand, accept or explain those things. This isn't the first time that I've encountered something like this, but each time you just have to ask that everyone respect all of the players, again and again.

"However, in spite of similar things like this, whenever racism does show up, both me and the team try to stay focused on the game.''

Villas-Boas watched on as his side were held to a draw following Arnor Smarason's last-gasp equaliser and was critical of the pitch they had to play on.

But he admitted that paled into comparison after the incident involving his forward and has called on the Russian football authorities to act.

"If they can't decide on which field you can play, which one you can't play on, then how can they decide the problem with racism, which is even worse?'' he added.

"What are they going to do with this? We'll see how the situation develops.

"So we want to forget about the game and what happened today in general. Torpedo got an important point today, but they should be unsettled about what else happened.''

The point took Zenit five points clear of second-placed CSKA Moscow, but their three-match winning streak was ended by a team who seem to be in a relegation battle after 19 games.

In Sunday's other matches, Dutch defender Douglas scored an own goal on the hour mark as Spartak Moscow claimed a 1-0 victory and derby bragging rights over Dinamo Moscow.

First-half goals from Maksim Kanunnikov and Igor Portnyagin lifted Rubin Kazan to a 2-1 win over Terek Grozny, who pulled one back late on through Marcin Komorowski shortly after Fedor Kudryashov had been dismissed.