Manchester City will make an official complaint to Uefa over alleged racist chanting aimed at Yaya Toure during their Champions League match at CSKA Moscow
Yaya Tour├® has urged Uefa to impose severe punishment on CSKA Moscow after complaining of racial abuse during Manchester City’s Champions League victory in the Russian capital.
The Ivory Coast midfielder registered his complaint to Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan early in the second half after claiming to have been subjected to racially motivated chanting from a section of supporters in the Khimki Arena. Monkey chanting could clearly be heard when Tour├® touched the ball.
With Russia due to host the 2018 World Cup, Tour├®ÔÇÖs claims are likely to prompt concern within Fifa over the progress being made against racism in a country that has been at the centre of previous outbreaks of abuse towards black and African footballers.
But with City officials holding talks with the Norwegian Uefa delegate Tormod Larsen following the game, Tour├® has demanded strong action from European footballÔÇÖs governing body in the wake of his treatment from the CSKA supporters, including the possibility of closing their stadium.
ÔÇ£I told the referee, I am furious,ÔÇØ Tour├® said. ÔÇ£It was disappointing and always we are talking about that ÔÇô having no racism. It was unbelievable and very, very sad for my part. I think if Uefa did something it will be very nice because we want to stop that. Some songs from the crowd were quite stupid, but I think Uefa has to do work for that because every time we say something and they continue, and something has to be done to stop that.ÔÇØ
Tour├® later added on his Twitter account: ÔÇ£I believe in football institutions, I know decision makers will take their responsibilities and show A RED CARD TO RACISM.ÔÇØ
Uefa announced tougher measures to combat racial abuse in May fol lowing a series of paltry fines and suspensions after incidents in club and international fixtures.
Measures such as stadium closures and fines of up to Ôé¼50,000 to individual clubs have been ratified and Toure claims that CSKA, who staged the game at the Khimki Arena after initial concerns that the game would be moved to Krasnodar due to the condition of the playing surface, should be subjected to ground closure by Uefa.
When asked what Uefa should do, Tour├® said: ÔÇ£A lot. If Uefa is strong and all the clubs and all the fans do that [react], it will be fantastic. Maybe close the stadium for a couple of times or maybe for a couple of years, I donÔÇÖt know. For me, the most important is that as an African player, itÔÇÖs always sad when you hear something like that.ÔÇØ
A City official confirmed before the clubÔÇÖs flight back to Manchester that an official complaint has been lodged to Uefa. ÔÇ£The club will also submit a written complaint on Thursday,ÔÇØ the spokesman said.
A Uefa delegate at the Khimki Arena confirmed that referee Hategan had mentioned the incident in his report which will be submitted to the disciplinary committee on Thursday.
City captain Vincent Kompany, absent through injury, tweeted his anger at the chanting with a strong call for action. Kompany wrote: ÔÇ£Racist chants again in Moscow today.. WeÔÇÖve all said enough. @UEFAcom. CSKA, all eyes are on you now..#StopRacism.ÔÇØ
When asked about Tour├®ÔÇÖs claims, CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky claimed to be unaware of the chanting, saying: ÔÇ£I didnÔÇÖt hear it.ÔÇØ
City manager Manuel Pellegrini, while echoing Slutsky in conceding that he was also unaware of the incident, admitted that action should be taken if Tour├®ÔÇÖs claims were proven.
ÔÇ£I didnÔÇÖt know what happened,ÔÇØ Pellegrini said. ÔÇ£There were some shouts against our player and it is a pity that we still have those stupid things. But I hope the right message can be put out for Yaya and the city. I cannot answer the question about how Yaya is feeling as I havenÔÇÖt spoken to Yaya, so I cannot say anything about that.ÔÇØ
The reputation of Russian football has been stained in recent years by racism issues, with supporters of Zenit St Petersburg regarded as repeat offenders. In 2012, Zenit fans called on the club not to sign black players and the club were fined 300,000 roubles (┬ú5,800) in 2011 when a fan brandished a banana at Anzhi MakhachkalaÔÇÖs Roberto Carlos.
In 2010, Lokomotiv Moscow fans unfurled a banner showing a banana directed at Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie, who subsequently left the club to join West Bromwich Albion.
Brazilian defender Carlos threatened to leave Russia earlier in 2011 when he walked off the pitch in protest after a banana was thrown from the crowd during a game against Krylya Sovetov.
City players have also been the victim of racist abuse in previous seasons, with Mario Balotelli subjected to monkey chants in a Europa League tie against FC Porto in Portugal during the 2011-12 campaign.
On that occasion, the Portuguese club were fined ┬ú16,700 ÔÇô a penalty which angered City due to it being only marginally greater than a financial penalty handed down to them by Uefa for entering the pitch late after half-time in a European tie. tie.
2018 World Cup host’s sorry record
2008: Reading defender Andre Bikey revealed in an interview with the Telegraph Sport that he used to carry a gun while living in Moscow because of the racist abuse he received while playing for Lokomotiv Moscow.
March 2008: Black players appearing for Marseille are abused by fans of Zenit St Petersburg during a Uefa Cup match.
August 2010: Lokomotiv Moscow fans unveil a racist slogan banner following the sale of striker Peter Odomwingie to WBA with a message saying ÔÇÿThanks West BromÔÇÖ
March 2011: Former Brazilian international Roberto Carlos is greeted with racist slogan banners and bananas while playing for Anzhi against Zenit and Krylia Sovetov Samara.
August 2011: Head of Uefa FARE Monitoring Group Dr Rafael Pankowski accuses Russian Football Union of failing to take appropriate action against racism. He said: ÔÇ£Nazi slogans are common in many Russian stadiums. Matches are often interrupted with racist chants aimed at black players.ÔÇØ
March 2012: Lokomotiv Moscow supporters throw a banana at Anzhi defender Christopher Samba
December 2012: A Supporters Group at Zenit St Petersburg release a statement urging club not to sign any black players.