CSKA Moscow deny fans racially abused Yaya Toure
CSKA Moscow have claimed Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was not racially abused by their fans during Wednesday night’s Champions League match – despite referee Ovidiu Hategan including the chants in his report to UEFA and the club and player launching a complaint.
The Ivory Coast midfielder appeared to be the target of chants from some sections of the home crowd during the 2-1 victory at the Arena Khimki on Wednesday.
Afterwards he told Sky Sports: “It’s unbelievable. I think UEFA needs to do something strong.”
Toure appealed to UEFA to impose stringent sanctions on the club.
“I told the ref, I think it was unbelievable and very sad. We want to stop that. UEFA need to do something.
“Maybe close the stadium for a couple of games,” he said. “As an African player, it is always sad when you hear something like that.”
City boss Manuel Pellegrini also called for UEFA to act if they find that his player was subjected to abuse: “It’s a pity and I hope UEFA have the right measures,” he said.
However, the Russian club’s deputy media manager Michael Sanadze told Sky Sports News: “There is no subject to discuss. Nothing special happened.
“There was a lot of noise in the stadium. Nobody else, other than Yaya Toure, heard anything. The only trouble that has come about was because Yaya Toure heard something.”
CSKA striker Seydou Doumbia is quoted in Russian newspaper Sport Express saying: “I didn’t hear anything like that from the CSKA fans…yes, they’re always noisy in supporting the team, and try to put as much pressure as possible on our opponents but they wouldn’t ever allow themselves to come out with racist chants.
“So my Ivory Coast colleague is clearly exaggerating.”
Although UEFA has threatened to come down hard on those clubs whose supporters racially abuse players, there remains the suspicion that it is treating offenders far too leniently.
The ball is now in their court, as we wait to hear from their official observers at the game, Stevie Wonder and Marlee Matlin.