Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2013 Contents A65
Friday, October 25, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
preparing to host two of the
biggest sporting events in the
world, a professional football
team from Moscow has been
caught up in a racism contro-
versy that has led to calls for
tough action against the locals.
Manchester City midfielder
Yaya Toure, who is black and
grew up in Ivory Coast, said he
was racially abused by opposing
fans during a Champions League
match at CSKA Moscow.
The Russian club denied it,
but the governing body of Euro-
pean football opened disciplinary
proceedings against CSKA yes-
"We regret the incident, even
though we consider the accusa-
tions of racism to be unfounded,"
CSKA said yesterday in a state-
Russia, which will host the
Sochi Olympics in February and
then the 2018 World Cup, has
been plagued by racism for years,
much of it rooted in xenophobic
sentiments that have flourished
in the country after the 1991
Opinion polls show that many
Russians dislike dark-skinned
migrants from ex-Soviet nations,
and violent xenophobic groups
have beaten and even killed non-
Slavs and anti-racism activists.
In addition to frequent shows
of racism, Russia has come under
scrutiny as the host of the Winter
Olympics because of the law
passed this year outlawing "pro-
paganda of nontraditional sexual
relations among minors," which
many worry may apply to gay
athletes and visitors to the games.
On Wednesday, Toure said that
a section of CSKA fans abused
him with racist chanting during
the match, and the City player
then complained to the referee.
Besides denying the incident,
the Russian team went further
by quoting Seydou Doumbia, a
striker from Ivory Coast who
plays for the Russian team, as
saying Toure was overstating
what had happened.
"Yes, they're always noisy in
supporting the team, and try to
put as much pressure as possible
on our opponents," Doumbia
said, "but they wouldn't ever
allow themselves to come out
with racist chants. So my Ivory
Coast colleague is clearly exag-
City won the match 2-1, but
Toure called on UEFA to take
action against CSKA.
"I think UEFA has to be
stronger, and hold all the clubs
and all the fans that do that
(responsible)," Toure said. "Maybe
they have a stadium ban. For me
as an African player it is always
sad to hear something like that
and we need to do something
Toure also raised the prospect
of teams boycotting the World
Cup when it comes to Russia in
2018 if the issue of racism wasn't
"If we aren't confident at the
World Cup, coming to Russia,
we don't come," he said, accord-
ing to RIA Novosti.
In the past, Russia has tried
to tackle the issue of racism at
its stadiums. Some, including
Anzhi Makhachkala players
Roberto Carlos and Christopher
Samba, repeatedly saw bananas
thrown at them by fans.
Following one of the incidents
with Samba last year, Russian
Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko
vowed to reduce racism. But such
promises haven't been backed up
with action and authorities
remain reluctant to investigate
and punish the culprits.
Yesterday, CSKA also said it
was "surprised and disappointed"
about Toure's statements, and
added that it hadn't found any
such chants after checking the
video recording of the game, say-
ing that the fans were booing
some of the players during the
game irrespective of their eth-
"It's unclear what made the
Ivorian midfielder think that it
was directed against him," CSKA
Bobby Barnes, Europe's top
official in the international play-
ers' union, said Thursday that
the match officials failed to carry
out their own protocol.
Toure said he told referee
Ovidiu Hategan about the racist
chants, expecting that he would
speak to the safety officer who
should warn the fans that the
game will be stopped if the chants
didn't end. (AP)
PARIS---Patrice Evra has escaped pun-
ishment from the French Football Feder-
ation over his furious rant during a tele-
vision interview and is available for next
month's World Cup qualifiers.
Evra was summoned to speak to French
FA president Noel Le Graet and national
coach Didier Deschamps yesterday to explain
comments he made during the interview
last Sunday. During it, Evra criticized com-
mentators in the French media --- including
former France left back Bixente Lizarazu ---
calling them "tramps" and "parasites" and
claiming they tried to turn public opinion
Evra was France's captain during the 2010
World Cup when the team refused to train
after Nicolas Anelka was sent home for
insulting coach Raymond Domenech.
"Noel Le Great and Didier Deschamps
once again let the player know how they
formally disagreed with some of the terms
used," the FFF said in a statement on Thurs-
day. "For his part, Patrice Evra wanted to
reaffirm, as a preamble, his attachment to
the France team and his love of the blue
jersey, saying he did not wish, in any way
whatsoever, to damage the image of the
national team or of French football."
The FFF added that while Evra accepted
that the timing of his outburst, and the
choice of his words, were inappropriate he
maintained that he is the victim of relentless
criticism from certain media pundits and
that his family has suffered as a result.
The FFF even appeared to take Evra's side
against TF1 channel --- which broadcasts
national team matches and so had access to
him for the interview --- when saying that
"he finished by cracking up at the end of
a long interview cleverly done to push him
to his wit's end."
Evra, who plays for Manchester United,
has been part of the France team which failed
to qualify automatically for the 2014 World
Cup. France takes on Ukraine in a two-leg
World Cup playoff next month, and that
also appears to have worked in his favor.
In his interview with Telefoot, a visibly
irate Evra said "it's not these tramps (in the
media) who are going to sully my image"
referring to television and radio pundits like
Lizarazu, former France midfielder Luis Fer-
nandez, former Marseille coach Rolland
Courbis and Pierre Menes, an outspoken
pundit. He named all four during the inter-
All four have been highly critical of Evra
since his role as captain in France's strike at
the World Cup. Evra made a public apology
after being recalled by Laurent Blanc fol-
lowing his ban. (AP)
LONDON---The English Football Association has fined
Jose Mourinho £8,000 (US$13,000) after the Chelsea
manager admitted to improper conduct during a touchline
confrontation with a referee at a Premier League match.
Mourinho was ordered from the touchline in the 70th
minute of Chelsea's 4-1 win over Cardiff on Saturday after
taking exception to referee Anthony Taylor warning
defender Branislav Ivanovic over time-wasting at a throw-
in. Mourinho sat among fans for the rest of the match.
Mourinho lost his temper after being frustrated at
perceived time-wasting by Cardiff.
The FA says the fine was the "standard penalty for the
UK soccer fan jailed for punching police horse
LONDON---A British soccer fan has been jailed for 12
months for punching a police horse in the head after his
team lost a derby match.
Barry Rogerson was one of several fans arrested after
violence erupted following Newcastle United's 3-0 loss to
Sunderland on April 14. Clashes between their fans aren't
uncommon because of the fierce rivalry between both
The 45-year-old Rogerson, who was drunk, first clapped
in the face of the officer, then punched Bud, a horse
working for West Yorkshire Police.
Judge Paul Sloan sentenced him yesterday to 12 months
in prison for violent disorder and banned him from
attending any soccer matches in the U.K. for six years.
Sloan said the officer riding Bud could have easily been
thrown off the horse and been badly hurt.
Rule-makers raise goal-line
ZURICH---Football's rule-makers raised the standard of
accuracy for goal-line technology yesterday, a move that
could convince more leagues to sanction high-tech aids for
The English Premier League was quick to install
cameras in stadiums this season after the International
Football Association Board's landmark approval of
But other leagues have been more cautious about
introducing technology, with the Bundesliga saying the
margin of error of three centimeters "is simply too big for
us."Now the IFAB has agreed to restrict the maximum
margin of error to 1.5 centimeters from 2014.
FIFA said the change, which takes effect next year, is
based on evidence from the Premier League and the
Confederations Cup showing how the technology is
The Premier League uses the camera-based Hawk-Eye
system. FIFA has adopted GoalRef, which uses magnetic
fields to rule on disputed goals, for the 2014 World Cup in
Brazil after it was successfully trialed at the
Confederations Cup this year.
Spain to return to site of World Cup victory
JOHANNESBURG---World and European champion
Spain will return to the site of its World Cup triumph next
month for a friendly against South Africa in Soweto.
The South African Football Association under new
president and 2010 World Cup head organizer Danny
Jordaan announced the fixture yesterday, saying Spain will
play at the 94,000-seat FNB Stadium, formerly Soccer
City, on November 19.
Top-ranked Spain qualified top of its group in Europe
and will go to the World Cup next year aiming to be the
first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the title. South
Africa won't play at the World Cup and hasn't qualified for
a major tournament it didn't host since 2008.
Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 in extra time of the
World Cup final three years ago.
Scolari to pick Diego Costa for Brazil team
RIO DE JANEIRO---Luiz Felipe Scolari says he will pick
Diego Costa for Brazil's national team next week, leaving it
up to the player to decide whether he will play for his
native country or world champion Spain.
Diego Costa holds a Spanish passport and said he would
be willing to play for Spain.
Scolari had been making it clear that he had the right to
pick Diego Costa, and late Wednesday he confirmed to
Globo TV that he will include the striker in the squad that
will play friendlies against Chile and Honduras in
Scolari said the Brazilian football federation has already
advised FIFA of its intention to use Diego Costa. He said
he wants to summon him to better "analyze" the player.
Diego Costa was picked for Brazil for friendlies in March,
but he still allowed to join Spain because they were not
considered official matches. (AP)
Mourinho fined US$13,000
for improper conduct
CSKA Moscow caught up
in racism controversy
Manchester City's Yaya Toure, centre, points towards fans during
the Champions League group D soccer match between CSKA
Moscow and Manchester City, at Arena Khimki stadium outside
Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday. AP PHOTO
Evra escapes punishment for television rant
Manchester United's Patrice Evra who was
summoned to speak to French FA president
Noel Le Graet and national coach Didier
Deschamps yesterday. AP PHOTO
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