In the wake of the alleged racial abuse that fans of CSKA Moscow hurled at Manchester City’s Yaya Toure in yesterday’s Champions League match, Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley claims the match referee should not officiate again.
“The referee should not be refereeing again,” Ouseley told BBC Radio 5 live on Thursday. “He failed to do his duty last night and that is a clear issue that UEFA should be dealing with.”
Under 2009 UEFA guidelines, referees have the power to tackle racist chanting from supporters by (1) stopping a match and asking for warnings to be made over the public address system and, in the event that measure fails, (2) suspending the match for a short time, and if the abuse continues, (3) abandoning the match.
Since Toure reported the abuse to Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan during the match and spoke to him afterwards, the incident will be included in the official’s report sent to UEFA on Thursday. Manchester City have lodged a formal complaint with UEFA while CSKA Moscow appear to be questioning the incident by claiming that Toure was the only person to hear the chants.
Yesterday’s incident will test new sanctions issued by UEFA this past May when it announced that a partial stadium closure would be applied for first time incidents involving racist spectators while a full stadium closure and a fine of €50,000 euros would be assessed for a second incident.
Ouseley said if players are not adequately protected, more of them could start walking off the pitch during a game, echoing what former AC Milan player Kevin Prince-Boateng did last season in a friendly match against lower division Italian side Pro Patria.
“This has gone on for too long,” added Ouseley. “UEFA and FIFA take us for mugs. That can’t go on any longer.”
This season five clubs have been ordered to partial stadium closures while three have been forced to full closure.