Manchester City locked in racism row as Premier League champions support Patrick Vieira despite HNK Rijeka's claim that racial abuse allegations are false

Manager Ranko Buketa claims that ulterior motives were behind Vieira's decision to take the Elite Development Squad off during a match in Croatia

Manchester City are considering their next move in the wake of the racism row which blew up out of their elite development squad's friendly in Croatia.

City will continue to evaluate the situation now the EDS has returned home, as they were scheduled to do, but it is too early to say what their next course of action will be over racist abuse allegations made by 19-year-old French midfielder Seko Fofana after he was sent off.

It is understood that the club fully support EDS coach Patrick Vieira in making the decision he did but their opponents HNK Rijeka have denied any of their players are racist and claimed the City boss may have had ulterior motives.

Ranko Buketa, who was in charge of Rijeka's team on Tuesday, accused Vieira of trying to divert attention away from Fofana's red card.

"It looks like a move which is trying to hide a very ugly foul by the Manchester City player that resulted in exclusion, followed by a hasty and illogical decision of the coaching staff to withdraw the team from the field," he told the club's official website.

"Such an abrupt decision surprised us as it was made by responsible people at a respectable club like Manchester City."

 

In a further statement the club added: "Rijeka clearly and unequivocally reject any possibility that the players at the match against Manchester City participated in assaulting the rival players on racial, religious or ethnic grounds.

"We want to point out the fact that we mentioned at the game we had six players from the Nigeria squad, players who live and train together with our other players, who learned the Croatian language and who have never experienced any discomfort by team-mates - as they themselves can attest.

"We also want to point out that Rijeka, in co-operation with FARE, supports a campaign against racism and strongly condemns any incident of its kind.

"Because of this, we are surprised by the unpleasantly harsh and baseless accusations of which we are accused and that we completely reject."

Read more: Vieira leads side off pitch after racism allegation
Comment: Vieira was right to make a stand against racism
City 'just buy trophies', claims Silvestre
 

Vieira has been praised for his actions by Piara Powar, executive director at anti-discrimination network FARE.

"We are not, in the short term, able to stop this sort of incident happening but to have someone like Patrick Vieira, with his status, do this makes the message very clear," Powar told Press Association Sport.

"The message it sends out is categorical. It is just the sort of thing which will create change.

"Rijeka are professing puzzlement as to why the team were taken off but I don't think Patrick would have done that without good cause.

"If it was bad enough to take the team off I would hope they would make a complaint (to FIFA). We will be alerting FIFA to this."

Manchester City coach and Elite Development Squad manager Patrick Vieira Manchester City coach and Elite Development Squad manager Patrick Vieira It is not the first time City's players have been involved in such incidents.

CSKA Moscow were ordered by UEFA to close part of their stadium after midfielder Yaya Toure was racially abused during a Champions League match in October.

Porto were fined £16,700 in April 2012 after their supporters directed racist chants at Toure and striker Mario Balotelli, who has since left the club, during a Europa League tie.

Youth team striker Devante Cole, son of former Manchester United and Newcastle forward Andy, was racially abused by players and supporters during a UEFA Youth League match against Atletico Madrid in February.

There has been no response so far from either FIFA or the Croatian Football Association.

PA

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
Dominique Alderweireld, also known as Dodo de Saumure, is the owner of a string of brothels in Belgium
newsPhilip Sweeney gets the inside track on France's trial of the year
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 pictured in 2011.
musicBassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker say Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful'
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'
tvBroadchurch series 2, episode 4, review - contains spoilers
Sport
cyclingDisgraced cycling star says people will soon forgive his actions
News
Britain's Prince Philip attends a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran will play three sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium in July
music
News
i100
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea