Yaya Toure: FIFA ‘don’t care’ about racism in football

Yaya Toure, who helped his Chinese League One club Qingdao Huanghai secure promotion to the Super League, has been very vocal about racism in football. (AFP)
Updated 28 October 2019

Yaya Toure: FIFA ‘don’t care’ about racism in football

  • ‘People from FIFA don’t care anyway because we’ve been talking about this, but it’s still continuing’
  • ‘Players need to make serious moves about it otherwise they (the racists) will continue to do that’

SHANGHAI: Yaya Toure says FIFA is not doing enough to stamp out racism and that England should have walked off the pitch in the face of monkey chants during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria.
The 36-year-old former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder made the comments to AFP after Qingdao Huanghai clinched promotion to the Chinese Super League at the weekend.
England’s 6-0 victory in Sofia earlier this month was marred by racist chants and Nazi salutes from a section of Bulgarian fans.
The game was halted twice during the first half but England players opted to complete the match instead of walking off the pitch.
“This is a shame, why are you playing for England?” Toure, who has been outspoken on football’s racism problem, said of the decision.
“They are always talking, ‘Blah, blah, blah’, and what? Nothing changes.”
Turning his real fire on football’s decision-makers, the four-time African player of the year said: “People from FIFA don’t care anyway because we’ve been talking about this, but it’s still continuing.
“I don’t want to say that I’m not concerned, I’m concerned,” said the former Ivory Coast international.
Raheem Sterling, the England and Manchester City forward, has been widely praised for playing a prominent role in calling out the racists at home and abroad.
But Toure, his former team-mate at City, said that was “not good enough.”
Toure, whose trophy haul includes three Premier League titles with City and a UEFA Champions League with Barcelona, believes it is time the players took more decisive action.
“They have to be serious about it, players need to make serious moves about it otherwise they (the racists) will continue to do that,” he said.
“They have to get the players out of the field.”
FIFA did not immediately reply to an AFP request for comment.
Toure was speaking after he played a pivotal role for Qingdao in a 2-0 win on Saturday at Shanghai Shenxin, attended by just a few hundred spectators.
Victory ensured promotion to the top-tier Chinese Super League for the team that Toure joined in July, but he is unlikely to make the move up with them next year.
“I think I’ll finish in December or January, then go, have another challenge,” he said, vowing to play on until he is 40.
“People are thinking that I’m done, but I’m not done yet,” he said.
Toure has enjoyed his spell in Chinese football and stressed that he has never experienced any form of discrimination in the country.
“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 behavior on the field,” he said.
“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.”


Manchester United and City seek derby delight

Updated 06 December 2019

Manchester United and City seek derby delight

  • Liverpool travel to Bournemouth aiming to surge further clear at the top of the points chart

LONDON: Both sides of the Manchester divide will be hoping some derby delight can add impetus to disappointing seasons when City host United on Saturday, while Liverpool travel to Bournemouth aiming to surge further clear at the top of the Premier League.

Manchester United got a badly needed win for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Wednesday, inflicting a first defeat on Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese returned to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were again reliant on Marcus Rashford goals as the England forward struck twice to take his tally to 12 in 13 games for club and country.

“He was strong, direct, taking people on, inside and outside with no fear,” said Solskjaer. “That’s what we want — we want to see boys enjoying themselves.”

There has been precious little for United fans to enjoy this season, but just a fifth Premier League victory in 15 games was enough to lift them up to sixth.

That is still 11 points adrift of third-placed City, despite their own struggles at times.

Pep Guardiola’s men looked more like their old selves in thrashing Burnley 4-1 on Tuesday with Gabriel Jesus stepping up in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero to score twice.

City have lost just one of six league meetings with United since Guardiola took charge three years ago and cannot afford to slip up if they are to maintain any aspirations of catching Liverpool in the title race. The English champions could kick off at the Etihad 14 points behind the leaders, should Jurgen Klopp’s men continue their scintillating form at Bournemouth earlier on Saturday.

“For the distance we are behind Liverpool it would be crazy to think about the title, we have to think about the derby,” said Guardiola.

Klopp could even afford the luxury of leaving Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah on the bench for a 5-2 thrashing of Everton in the Merseyside derby in midweek.

Both are expected to return for the visit to the south coast, but Klopp may rest some of his stars who did start against Everton ahead of a huge week for the European champions.

Liverpool travel to Salzburg in the Champions League on Tuesday needing to avoid defeat if their defense of the title is not to embarrassingly end in the group stages.

Divock Origi scored twice against Everton and Xherdan Shaqiri struck on his first start of the season to prove Klopp does have the strength in depth to successfully shuffle his pack.

“It’s easy for me to tell them often, very often, how good they are but if they then don’t play it’s not too easy for them to always understand what I say,” said Klopp.

“But if they play and deliver like they did, it’s a very, very important sign for the whole squad.”

Leicester remain Liverpool’s closest challengers, eight points back in second, thanks to a run of eight straight wins in all competitions.

“The team is developing and are proving they have a winning mentality and mindset,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, who has dismissed speculation linking him with the vacant managerial role at Arsenal.

Next up for the in-form Foxes is a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Villa are one of a host of teams hauled back into the battle to avoid relegation by Southampton’s resurgence with Dean Smith’s men just one point above the drop zone.