Yaya Toure targeted by racist chants in Man City's Champions League win in Moscow

Martin Rogers
Yahoo SportsOctober 23, 2013
Moscow soccer club involved in racism controversy
Manchester City's Yaya Toure, right, closes in on the ball as Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev dives during the UEFA Champions League group D soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester City, at Arena Khimki stadium outside Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Racism in Russian soccer raised its ugly head again on Wednesday when Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was subjected to monkey chants in his club's Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow.

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Toure appeared to be singled out for abuse by a section of the crowd at CSKA's Arena Khimkhi during the second half of City's 2-1 win in Group D.

Russian soccer has struggled to combat racism at its matches with several reported incidents of xenophobic behavior involving high-profile players. Brazilian World Cup legend Roberto Carlos was offered a banana by a Zenit St. Petersburg fan in 2011, and a hooligan group that supports Zenit issued a manifesto ordering the club not to sign any black players.

The issue of racism cast a shadow over Russia's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, but it did not prevent the nation from securing hosting rights for the first time.

Toure, who comes from the Ivory Coast and is one of the most productive midfielders in European soccer, was furious at the treatment he received.

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"It is quite disappointing when you are talking about people continuing to do that," Toure told British television channel Sky Sports 2 following the game. "It is unbelievable and very sad on my part."

European soccer's governing body UEFA has the power to issue fines to clubs whose fans are found guilty of racism. UEFA can also order future games to be played behind closed doors or in an alternative venue.

"I think UEFA needs to do something strong," Toure added. "It would be nice if we could stop that. Some of the songs today were quite stupid and I think UEFA have to do the work. Every time we say something it continues and something has to be done to stop it.

"They need to do a lot. UEFA has to be stronger and hold the club and all the fans that do that responsible. Maybe they have a stadium ban.

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"For me, as an African player it is always sad to hear something like that and we need to do something about it."

City's 2-1 win came courtesy of two goals from in-form Argentinean forward Sergio Aguero. CSKA, currently struggling in sixth place in the Russian Premier League, took the lead after 32 minutes on a Zoran Tosic goal.