Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini Warns Russian Fans About Racial Abuse
Man City Manager Manuel Pellegrini has warned CSKA Moscow fans "against repeating their racist abuse of City midfielder Yaya Toure on Tuesday," according to Ben Smith of the BBC. The sides meet again in the Champions League two weeks after Toure was targeted during Man City's 2-1 win, "leading to UEFA punishing the Russian club." Pellegrini said, "The CSKA fans made a mistake. UEFA acted and gave them the punishment it deserved" (BBC, 10/4). REUTERS' Mike Collett reported Pellegrini said that "he would not offer Toure any special advice." Pellegrini: "I think Yaya is an experienced player. What happened in Russia maybe he can't forget but tomorrow is a special match for him, not because of that but because Manchester City can go to the next stage of the Champions League. I think he will only be thinking about football" (REUTERS, 11/4). In London, Jamie Jackson reported if Man City beats CSKA it is "all but certain of progressing to the knockout stages for the first time in the club's history." Man City's Pablo Zabaleta said, "It is time for this club to take a step forward. If we can qualify for the next round, it will be great for this club. Hopefully in the next few years we can be one of the top clubs in Europe" (GUARDIAN, 10/4).
MANAGER CLAIMS 'OVERREACTION': In London, Jamie Jackson wrote that CSKA Moscow Manager Leonid Slutsky said the claims of racial abuse by fans is an "overreaction" and "the situation has been exaggerated," though he made it clear "the club is against all racism." In a press conference, Slutsky said, "We have black players and we give them support. We did not hear any racist chants [so] it is difficult to comment." Slutsky did not offer an apology, but CSKA captain Sergei Ignashevich did, saying "We are sorry that such unpleasant indicent took place" (GUARDIAN, 11/4).