Europa League: Wigan player Emmerson Boyce warns of possible walk-off if racially abused in Russia
The FA Cup winners face Rubin Kazan on Thursday
Wednesday 06 November 2013
Emmerson Boyce has not ruled out walking off the field if he and his Wigan team-mates are racially abused in Russia on Thursday.
The FA Cup winners face Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, a fortnight on from Manchester City's Yaya Toure complaining of abuse when playing a fixture at CSKA Moscow.
CSKA have been sanctioned by UEFA as a result and, with that not the first incident of racism being encountered in Russia, Boyce has concerns.
He is not prepared to say if he would definitely lead his players off in the face of any abuse, but he is keen to make a stand.
"Would we walk off? It all comes down to how bad it is. You see a lot of games where people complain about racism but no-one has actually walked off," he told a number of national newspapers.
"I know AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng did it in Italy but, as a player, you just want to concentrate on the game. As a player sometimes you don't even hear what's going on until people point it out or you hear about it later.
"It doesn't scare me. It's all about educating. There was a message sent out by UEFA last week and we want to make a stand, showing that football is bigger than racism or people still thinking that way."
Boyce is prepared to let the matchday officials take the lead and has cited Ivorian midfielder Toure as an example of how to deal with problems.
"You look to the officials to control the situation. I saw the statement from UEFA that said the stadium announcer controls the crowd so as a player we can only do what we do on the pitch and try and set an example for people watching," he added.
"Yaya Toure handled it well. He told the referee - he didn't respond to the crowd in terms of making gestures or anything.
"As a player, no matter how hard it is, people are always watching us for our reaction, and it's up to us as role models to rise above it and handle it the right way."
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