Man City U21s Walk Off During Friendly Match In Croatia Over Alleged Racial Abuse
Man City U21s "walked off during a friendly in Croatia after one of their players was allegedly racially abused by an opponent," according to the BBC. The game against HNK Rijeka "was abandoned after the incident involving French midfielder Seko Fofana, who was sent off after an off-the-ball clash." Man City said, "A decision was taken by the management staff to withdraw from the field and cancel the game." City added that club representatives are liaising with officials, the match organizers and the Croatian FA to "pursue the matter further" (BBC, 7/23). REUTERS' Zoran Radosavljevic wrote HNK Rijeka "issued a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday denying any racism during Tuesday's abandoned friendly." Rijeka youth coach Ranko Buteka also denied any of his players racially insulted any Man City player during the game and said that Man City coach Patrick Vieira "may have led his team off at halftime because Rijeka were too strong for them." The game "was stopped after an alleged incident of racist abuse" against Fofana just before halftime. Fofana "had been shown a red card for an off-the-ball incident." In a statement, the club "rejected any racist allegations." The statement said, "We strongly reject unfounded racism allegations mentioned in the statement Manchester City has posted on its website and want to stress that Rijeka itself had six players from Nigeria on the team" (REUTERS, 7/23).