UPDATED with Russia 2018 comment - FIFA to Question Russia World Cup Chiefs After Yaya Toure Racism Row
October 24, 2013
Yaya Touré in action for Manchester City last night against CSKA Moscow (Getty)
(WFI) FIFA No. 2 Jerome Valcke is set to raise concerns over Russian football’s racism problem at a 2018 World Cup board meeting next week, following the racist abuse directed at Manchester City captain Yaya Touré by CSKA Moscow fans last night.
Valcke and FIFA officials are expected to discuss the racism row with Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, a FIFA ExCo member, Russia 2018 CEO Alexey Sorokin and senior LOC managers.
Andrey Lyubeznov, Russia 2018’s director of communications, told INSIDER that the meeting will take place in Kazan on Tuesday. “It will discuss all [Russia 2018] developments in 2013 and plans for 2014,” he said.
Touré last night called on UEFA to come down hard on CSKA Moscow after he was subjected to monkey chants from a section of the crowdin City’s 2-1 win.
"I'm very, very disappointed about what those fans have done today and I think Uefa have to take action because players with the same colour of skin will always be in the same situation,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"I want to see Uefa do something and take some action. We have to be as strong as possible, otherwise they will continue like that. Maybe they could ban the stadium, I don't know, for a couple of years or a couple of months."
Touré added: "The club may say they have to educate the fans but I think it's enough; too much is too much."
Russia 2018 said in a statement on Thursday afternoon: "Whilst the alleged incidents are still under investigation by the relevant authorities, it is clear that all over the world a small minority try to ruin the wonderful experience of watching live world-class football for real fans.
"It is worth restating that all stakeholders in Russian football have made it clear that there is absolutely no place for any type of racial discrimination or abuse in our game."
It added: "What is clear is that football is uniquely positioned to educate fans in combating this global issue. The 2018 World Cup in Russia, in particular, can act as a catalyst to positively change the mindsets and behaviour across all involved in Russian football over the next four years.
"The Fans Law, that was recently passed into legislation, shows Russia's determination to eradicate the problem for good. The 2018 World Cup in Russia will be a festival of football where talented athletes from every corner of the globe will be celebrated."
However, the racist abuse directed at Touré is not an isolated case. In recent years, high-profile players including Roberto Carlos, Christopher Samba and Peter Odemwingie have been subjected to similar racial chants.
UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against CSKA Moscow for the "racist behaviour of their fans", with a ruling due on Oct. 30. Possible sanctions for the club include a partial stadium closure for its next matches.
The racism row comes amid UEFA’s annual FARE Action Weeks, which aim to increase public awareness of intolerance and discrimination in football.
The activities highlight the anti-racism resolution adopted at the UEFA Congress last May, when UEFA’s member associations pledged to step up their efforts to eliminate racism from football and impose stricter sanctions on racist behaviour.
UEFA now has tougher penalties against racism.
The resolution includes encouraging referees to stop, suspend or even abandon a game if racist incidents occur; the imposition of ten-match suspensions on any player or team official found guilty of racist conduct; and stadium closures if fans engage in racist behaviour.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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