Uefa has announced that a partial stadium ban will be imposed on CSKA Moscow when they play their next Champions League match at the Arena Khimki, following the racist behaviour from their fans during last week’s encounter with Manchester City.
The Russian club’s supporters were accused of making monkey noises by City midfielder Yaya Toure, leading to the European governing body charging CSKA with racist conduct.
It means that the club will have to play their match against Bayern Munich on November 27 with a section of their stand shut, although Uefa stopped short of implementing a complete stadium ban as this was the Russian champions’ first offence on racial grounds.
They had strongly denied any wrongdoing after releasing a statement claiming that their fans boo and jeer opposition players but not racial abuse them, but Uefa have taken a very different approach to the incident.
A statement by Uefa read: “The fight against racism is a high priority for UEFA.
“The 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.”
Despite claiming to take a “zero-tolerance” approach and implementing the “most severe sanctions”, a partial stadium ban seems like neither of those protocols. Toure had called for something drastic to be done to prevent further incidents, and with the 2018 World Cup due to take place in Russia, he said black players could even boycott the tournament altogether.
The City captain on the night, Toure said: "If we aren't confident at the World Cup, coming to Russia, we don't come.
"I want to see Uefa do something and take some action. We have to be as strong as possible otherwise they will continue like that.
"Maybe they could ban the stadium, I don't know, for a couple of years or a couple of months."
CSKA provided an immediate response claiming that they were “surprised and disappointed” with the allegations, and that Toure’s accusation was completely “unfounded”.
Uefa are yet to announce their findings of the investigation into why referee on the night Ovidiu Hategan failed to follow the governing bodies protocol when racial abuse is reported by a player.
Under the agreed guidelines, a referee should stop a game to ask for an announcement to be made instructing the abuse to stop. Should it continue, the referee can then act to take both teams off the pitch, and if necessary cancel the game altogether.
However, Hategan failed to report Toure’s complaint to the safety officer, forcing Uefa president Michel Platini to call for a full internal investigation into why the Romanian hadn’t done so. City are due to meet CSKA again next week in the return group match at the Etihad, although both clubs are yet to respond to the recent verdict.
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