Michel Platini requests investigation into why protocol wasn't followed in wake of Yaya Toure's racial abuse claims
Toure told referee Ovidiu Hategan that he was the subject of racist chanting from the crowd but the Romanian failed to follow the agreed guidelines in dealing with a racial complaint
Friday 25 October 2013
Uefa president Michel Platini has called for an internal investigation into why Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan did not follow the correct protocol in handling Yaya Toure’s complaint that he was receiving racial abuse from the CSKA Moscow fans in Manchester City’s 2-1 victory on Wednesday night.
The head of the European football governing body has requested the investigation after Hategan failed to stop the game and ask for an announcement to be made urging fans to stop any racial conduct, with further powers to delay or even cancel the game if it fails to stop.
However, no such announcement was made at the Arena Khimki and Uefa has announced that they will publish the findings of its investigation following its completion on October 30.
The Russian club denied any racist behaviour by its supporters and said they were “surprised and disappointed” by Toure’s allegations.
The Ivory Coast midfielder raised the prospect of boycotting the 2018 Fifa World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Russia, and it is a claim that has been backed by anti-racism campaigners.
"If we aren't confident at the World Cup, coming to Russia, we don't come,” Toure was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Executive director of European anti-discrimination body FARE and Fifa anti-discrimination task force member Piara Powar backed Toure’s decision to question the tournament, with Russia currently in the public eye as they prepare to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"Yaya Toure is absolutely right in raising the spectre of African players or players of African heritage not going to the 2018 World Cup - and without them there will not be a World Cup in Russia,” Powar told Press Association.
"I wouldn't blame them - in this era players are the most powerful force and if all the players said they are not going there wouldn't be a World Cup, or if there was it would be meaningless."
The Professional Footballers’ Association’s deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes was in agreement that the protocol needed to be implemented by the referee, having designed the guidance rules to prevent incidents like this.
"We're very disappointed that a clear agreed protocol which is designed to deal with these situations was not effected,” said Barnes.
"The player, having done what was asked of him to notify the referee, quite rightly expected that the referee would go speak with the safety officer, and the (Uefa) protocol agreed is that the safety officer should make a stadium announcement warning the fans that if the chants do not desist that the game will be stopped."
However, City manager Manuel Pellegrini has refused to comment further on the matter, after admitting that he has spoken to his midfielder about his distress.
"I talked with Yaya, he is okay," said the Chilean.
"I think Yaya did the right thing to say what happened and we will see what Uefa will do about it.
"UEFA is doing a special campaign against the racists and I think they do the right things for the future not to repeat it, but I don't know what they are going to do."
Pellegrini did speak on Platini's intervention though, adding: "Uefa must take their decision about that. We did all that we can do here, we can't do any more."
The 60-year-old only learned of Toure’s complaint in the post-match press conference, but he again refused to be drawn on any further comment when asked about his consideration of boycotting the World Cup in five years’ time.
"I repeat we must wait for Uefa," he said.
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