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SBD Global/October 25, 2013/International Football

UEFA Charges CSKA Moscow Over Alleged Racist Abuse During Champions League Game

Man City's Yaya Touré alleges fans racially abused him during Wednesday's game at CSKA Moscow.
World football players' union FIFPro has criticized UEFA "for failing to enforce its own guidelines on racism following the abuse hurled" at Man City's Yaya Touré in Moscow, according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. FIFPro said that UEFA's match officials "failed to act" after Touré "was racially abused" during the Champions League clash at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday. FIFPro's Europe Division President Bobby Barnes said, "We're very disappointed that a clear agreed protocol which is designed to deal with these situations was not implemented" (REUTERS, 10/24). In London, Cue & Barrett wrote UEFA has charged CSKA Moscow over the "racist behaviour of their fans" after Touré "complained of monkey chants being aimed against him." The Russian club "face a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday." UEFA said in a statement, "Proceedings have been opened against CSKA Moscow for racist behaviour of their fans." Touré "was subjected to apparent monkey taunts during the game" and complained to Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan. However, CSKA issued a statement in which it said that it was "surprised and disappointed" by Touré and City's allegations. CSKA: "Having carefully studied the video of the game, we found no racist insults from fans of CSKA. In many occasions, especially during attacks on our goal, fans booed and whistled to put pressure on rival players, but regardless of their race. In particular, this happened with Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko. Why the Ivorian midfielder took it as all being directed at him is not clear" (LONDON TIMES, 10/24).

CLAIMS CHALLENGED: Also in London, Rumsby & Ogden wrote Touré's version of events has "been challenged by one of the Russian champions' black players" -- and his own Ivory Coast teammate -- Seydou Doumbia. It was the testimony of Doumbia which "threatened to escalate tensions." The striker declared that "he had heard no racist chanting and even insisting CSKA supporters would never engage in such abuse" (TELEGRAPH, 10/24). In London, Charles Reynolds wrote CSKA said it had never been sanctioned for racist abuse in all its years in European competition and will "continue to fight against racism" (INDEPENDENT, 10/24). The London GUARDIAN reported so far this season, UEFA "has imposed full stadium bans on three clubs -- Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia, Legia Warsaw of Poland and Honved of Hungary" -- for racist behavior by their supporters while five other clubs have had partial stadium closures imposed (GUARDIAN, 10/24).

BOYCOTT WARNING: In London, Stuart James wrote Touré has warned Russia that "players will boycott the 2018 World Cup finals if the country fails to adopt stringent measures to stamp out racism." The Ivorian's comments increase the pressure on FIFA, as well as UEFA, "to bring Russia into line and impose tougher sanctions on clubs that fail to combat racism." For Russia, the Touré incident once again highlights the problem of racist behavior at football matches in the country "and raises further questions about its suitability to host the World Cup finals" (GUARDIAN, 10/24). The BBC reported Kick It Out Chair Lord Ouseley said that the referee for Man City's Champions League match against CSKA Moscow "should not officiate again after failing to deal with racist abuse." Ouseley said that Hategan had "failed to do his duty" (BBC, 10/24).

HEAT ON UEFA: In Manchester, Stuart Brennan wrote UEFA is "full of smart ideas about tackling this blight on the face of the beautiful game." But until they take some real action by "closing stadiums, hitting clubs with serious punishments and encouraging players to take drastic action themselves, nothing will change" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 10/24). In London, Tony Evans opined "the timing, though, may be fortuitous." This, after all, is UEFA's "Football Against Racism in Europe Action Week." UEFA "is good at superficial gestures." Last night "showed action week for the joke it is." The UEFA Congress adopted an 11-point anti-racism resolution in May "and has made smug videos to illustrate how hard it is working," but no one fears UEFA sanctions because time and time again "racist incidents have been ignored and downplayed." How UEFA deals with the Touré incident "will tell us just how much it cares about stopping racism" (LONDON TIMES, 10/24).
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