Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure urges UEFA to take action on racism
Champions League tie hit by racist abuse
CNN News Wire | 10/23/2013, 1:57 p.m.
It’s supposed to be known as the “Beautiful Game” but the ugly face of racism returned to haunt European football once again Wednesday.
Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, the Ivory Coast midfielder, was subjected to “monkey chants” during his side’s 2-1 Champions League win against CSKA Moscow in Russia.
City is expected to make a formal complaint to UEFA, the game’s European governing body, with Toure urging for action to be taken following his side’s victory courtesy of two goals from Sergio Aguero.
“It is quite disappointing when you’re talking about people continuing to do that,’ Toure told Sky Sports.
‘It is unbelievable and very sad on my part. I think UEFA need to do something strong. It would be nice if we could stop that.
“Some of the songs today were quite stupid and I think UEFA have to do the work. Every time we say something it continues, something has to be done to stop it.”
City captain Vincent Kompany, who is of Congolese descent, took to Twitter to hit out at the abuse and sent a message to UEFA and the Russian government.
UEFA has vowed to crack down harder on fans which continue to partake in racial abuse.
In May, the body’s executive committee ratified a 10-match minimum ban for racial abuse by players or officials.
At the time, UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino stated that the organization’s 53 members should adopt the same measures.
According to the new regulations, the first sanction for a club whose fans are found guilty of racist abuse will be a partial stadium closure. If the abuse persists, then there will be a full stadium closure and a $65,000 fine handed out.
“An association should adopt the same or similar measures,” Infantino said in May.
“UEFA has always acted in a way to try to convince people rather than impose. I don’t think you measure the way of fighting against racism in one simple measure and sanction.”
In August, Polish club Legia Warsaw was fined $41,000 and ordered to close the north stand of its stadium following racist behavior by supporters during a Champions League second qualifying round tie.
UEFA has been heavily criticized in the past for the way it has punished those found guilty of racial abuse compared with other offenses.
During Euro 2012, Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner was handed a $125,800 fine for revealing a betting company’s logo on his underwear after lifting his shirt while celebrating a goal.
UEFA also handed out a larger fine to Chelsea following its semifinal defeat by Barcelona in 2009 after Didier Drogba confronted referee Tom Ovrebo after his failure to award the London club several penalties.
When it comes to punishment for racism, UEFA has imposed relatively small fines, which has left the governing body open to extreme criticism.
Back in 2002, the Slovakian Football Association was hit with a $29,000 fine after fans abused England duo Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey.
A year later, Cole, Heskey and Sol Campbell were abused while on England duty in Macedonia with the host FA being forced to pay a fine of $27,000.
In June 2007, the Football Association of Serbia was punished with a $27,000 fine after its fans racially abused England players during the Under-21 Championship Finals in Holland.
The Croatian FA was made to pay just $16,000 after its fans were found guilty of “displaying a racist banner and showing racist conduct” during the Euro 2008 quarterfinal tie with Turkey.
In 2011, Bulgaria’s FA was hit with a $54,000 fine after England’s Ashley Young, Ashley Cole and Theo Walcott were racially abused during a Euro 2012 qualifier in Sofia.
That decision came a full six weeks after the incident and was then frowned upon further, after UEFA fined City $40,000 for coming out late ahead of the second-half of their last-16 Europa League game at Sporting Lisbon.
Both Russia ($39,000) and Spain ($26,000) were fined at Euro 2012 following problems of racism, but neither country was hit as hard in the pocket as Denmark striker Bendtner.