Alleged disrespect and derogatory behavior in Russia may cause the 2018 World Cup to lose players of color.
Yaya Touré, a midfielder from the Ivory Coast that know plays for Manchester City, England, has warned Russia that if the racism doesn’t stop he and other players of color will boycott the games. Touré recently had to endure monkey chants from Russian fans during a match against CSKA Moscow this past week, the Daily Mail reported.
“It is a real problem here, something that happens all the time, and of course they need to sort it out before the World Cup,” he said. “Otherwise, if we are not confident coming to the World Cup in Russia, we don’t come.”
CSKA officials are singing a different tune, denying any claims of racism against Touré. After reviewing a tape of the game in question, the organization said that they found nothing but fans booing in attempt to put pressure on the home team’s opponents. CSKA striker and fellow Ivory Coast player, Seydou Doumbia also maintained that there was a lack of racism.
“I didn’t hear anything like that from the CSKA fans,” the Daily Mail reported him saying.
Despite CSKA’s denial of the incident, the UEFA Champions League said Thursday that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against them “for the racist behavior of their fans and for setting off fireworks”. Manchester City also stated that they have written a complaint about the incident to the UEFA.