October 29 – Former Manchester City and Ivory Coast player Yaya Toure has slammed FIFA for doing “nothing” in the fight against racism. Toure has urged the world federation to step up its game.
Toure has accused the Zurich-based organisation of not caring about stopping racism in the game. The 36-year-old commented following his Qingdao Huanghai side gaining promotion to the Chinese Super League and in the aftermath of the racial abuse faced by England players in Bulgaria earlier this month.
“People from FIFA don’t care anyway because we’ve been talking about this, but it’s still continuing,” said Toure. “I don’t want to say that I’m not concerned, I’m concerned.”
“They have to be serious about it, players need to make serious moves about it otherwise they (the racists) will continue to do that. They have to get the players out of the field.”
In 2016, FIFA disbanded its anti-racism task force, claiming it had fulfilled its mission. The task force had been set up in 2013 by former FIFA president Sepp Blatter. The decision to disband was met with dismay.
Toure also spoke about the Bulgaria vs England game which was marred by ugly scenes of racism. The Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia had to be halted twice due to abuse from the crowd aimed at Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings and Marcus Rashford.
The Ivorian insisted that he would have walked off the pitch had he been in their position. “This is a shame, why are you playing for England?” said Toure. “They are always talking, ‘Blah, blah, blah’, and what? Nothing changes.”
Toure also highlighted that Chinese fans are more respectful and that he hasn’t encountered racism in Chinese stadiums, having spent the last few months at Qingdao.
“It’s been a nice experience because I’ve seen people with a different mentality from Europe -the way to play football, the way they feel and their behaviour on the field,” said the former City midfielder. “When I play in the stadiums, nobody boos me because I’m black, it’s a different culture, they respect. In Europe, they respect nobody.”
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600625796labto1600625796ofdlr1600625796owedi1600625796sni@o1600625796fni1600625796