UEFA has ordered a partial closure of CSKA Moscow’s stadium for racist chants from fans directed toward Manchester City’s Yaya Toure during a Champions League match. The suspension will be in place for the team’s next Champions League home match against Bayern Munich later in November.
UEFA released a statement, via Sky Sports:
“The fight against racism is a high priority for Uefa.
WThe European governing body has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands.
“All forms of racist behaviour are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.
“Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on 1 June, the fight against racist conduct has been stepped up a level – resulting in more severe sanctions to deter any such behaviour.”
CSKA Moscow denied that there were racist chants.
“There is no subject to discuss. Nothing special happened,” Deputy media manager Michael Sanadze said, via ESPN FC. ”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.”
The denial was likely an effort to save themselves from punishment, announcers on televisions acknowledged it during the game. Toure also balked at the denials.
“I am not deaf,” he said. “We are all humans. It is not a nice feeling to go and play a football match, to bring joy to the people and to be called a monkey or to hear monkey noises.
“I don’t look like a monkey. Other people must have seen it. Doumbia is a young brother. Someone I admire who I have known a long time — we come from the same country.
“I don’t want to say things that will put him in trouble but you can see a little bit the manipulation around all this. It is so pathetic and so sad to see things like that. I am ashamed to still have to talk about this subject.”