Toure: Racism still a problem

Date published: Tuesday 12th May 2015 3:54

The reigning African Footballer of the Year was the victim of monkey chants in 2013 while playing in Russia against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

That incident led to UEFA closing part of CSKA’s ground for their next Champions League game but Toure believes football’s governing bodies need to inflict harsher punishments.

“For me, the real matter is we need harsher sanctions – not just closing part of the stadium or giving them a level of a fine,” said Toure, speaking at the launch of FIFA’s Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System in London on Tuesday.

“We can see now we have a couple of clubs who are bigger than a country and they pay maybe £20,000 and something like that. For me that is not enough, we need to do more.”

When he was racially abused in 2013, Toure called on African players to boycott the World Cup in Russia in 2018 unless instances of racism at Russian soccer matches stopped.

On Tuesday, however, Toure admitted the situation is complex and feels it is important he continues to play regardless of the abuse he receives in the stadiums, or on other platforms such as social media.

“I have been in this same situation where I have heard monkey chants or abuse,” Toure said. “It is difficult to deal with that sometimes.

“To be honest with you, as a sportsman, you want to finish the game and you want to continue until the end but when you hear something like that hurts you. It breaks you.”

Toure welcomed the launch of FIFA’s Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System which will implement the recommendations of the FIFA Task Force against Racism and Discrimination.

The new system will see match observers report back on fan behaviour at every qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with FIFA ruling on any issues within as little as 24 hours.

Sanctions could range from playing games behind closed doors to banning associations from World Cup qualification.

Toure hopes this new initiative will be a positive step forward for some countries where racism is still prevalent.

“When FIFA called to invite me to be involved, I said yes straight away because for me something has to be done,” Toure added.

“We need to see this change. In England especially, to be honest with you, I have never seen that argument and I think it is fantastic. And that’s what I want in other countries, especially in that side of the world in Russia and Ukraine.”

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