CSKA MOSCOW have hit back at Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, accusing the Ivory Coast midfielder of fabricating a complaint that he was subjected to monkey chants from their fans during Wednesday’s Champions League match.
In the face of growing condemnation yesterday, the Russians also quoted his international colleague Seydou Doumbia, who plays for CSKA, as saying that Toure was “clearly exaggerating”.
European governing body Uefa opened an investigation into the allegations and could impose a partial stadium closure on the Russian club, although CSKA made it clear they would contest any charges.
“Having carefully studied the video of the game, we found no racist insults from fans of CSKA,” the club said. “In many occasions, especially during attacks on our goal, fans booed and whistled to put pressure on rival players, but regardless of their race. Why the Ivorian midfielder took it as all being directed at him is not clear.”
The Moscow club also quoted Doumbia as 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.”
Uefa formally opened proceedings against CSKA for “racist behaviour of their fans and setting off fireworks” and intend to rule on Wednesday.
Toure complained of the barracking after the Group D fixture, which City won 2-1, and called on Uefa to take stronger action against teams whose supporters use racist abuse. City complained to the match delegate after the final whistle and followed up with a letter yesterday. English journalists at the Arena Khimki reported on Twitter during the game that they had heard monkey chants aimed at Toure, who captained City.
Tougher rules introduced this season state that clubs whose fans indulge in racism are to have their stadium partially closed for one match, in the case of a first offence, and completely closed for repeat offenders.
Referees have the power to halt matches in the event of racism, and Lord Ouseley, chairman of equality campaigners Kick It Out, said Ovidiu Hategan, who took no action at the time, “should not be refereeing again”.