Football

Racism rears its unwelcome head once more

Toure (white) perform admirably in such a harsh environment (©GettyImages)
Toure (white) perform admirably in such a harsh environment (©GettyImages).

Racism reared its ugly head yet again on Wednesday in a Champions League tie between CSKA Moscow and Manchester City, which had all the makings of a very entertaining game but was tarnished by this torrid abuse.

City midfielder Yaya Toure was the main target of the "monkey" chants and his actions are to be commended for showing real professionalism for carrying on and helping his side achieve a very valuable three points. 

I am not sure what is more alarming: the disgusting abuse Toure and his team mates endured or the lack of acknowledgement from the players and the club. Incidents such as these are a real worry with the World Cup coming up in 2018.

"We did not hear any chanting," CSKA general director Roman Babayev was quoted as saying by Russian media.

"Moreover, there were various calls and noises addressed at other players beside the dark-skinned ones."

These are very worrying comments indeed from a man who you would think would show some accountability and at least apologise within the media for the treatment of the City players.

it is not only football that has this problem. When the Athletics World Championships took place in Russia this August there were similar scenes in the Luzhniki Stadium when Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the Women's 200 metres. Fraser-Pryce went on to divulge words from her first stadium tour in her World Championship preparations.

"Oh, and perhaps you don't want to walk alone too much, or walk at night." - Stadium official.

Obviously racism is a huge issue not just confined to Russia or Europe, there is a global problem with inequality. It is how sport governing bodies choose to react to these incidents that really needs to change. UEFA and FIFA seem to adopt a stance that draws parallels to the UK's drink awareness campaign while not really achieving much progress.

Earlier in May this year AS Roma were fined a measly 50,000 euros for their fans' racist chanting towards AC Milan players - a derisory amount for such a vile act. Roma probably make double that every home game. Tougher sanctions need to be in place. 

Compare this to the 100,000 euros that Denmark and Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner was fined for "showing his pants" in a Euro 2012 game. This was due to FIFA's stern regulation of no marketing on the field of play.

This really does show how seriously UEFA and FIFA are taking racism within the beautiful game and brings into question whther they would rather reap plaudits from their gimmick which is their "Say No To Racism" campaign than actually make a difference.

These so called sanctions are nowhere strict enough and appear to be more of a token gesture than any real remedy for the problem. I can only see one way to combat this - with more strict sanctions along the lines of expulsion from big tournaments.

Clubs and even Football Associations need to realise this sickening behaviour is not and should not be tolerated. Until this is the case, unfortunately we as sport lovers will continue to see similar incidents as befell Manchester City on Wednesday night.

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Gnegneri Toure Yaya

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