Toure pledges help to fight racism at World Cup

Manila Times - - FOOTBALL - PARIS: AFP

Manch­ester City mid­fielder Yaya Toure has warned that the World Cup in Rus­sia could be a “big mess” if the tour­na­ment is blighted by racism, but vowed to help tackle the prob­lem.

The 34- year- old Toure has per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of racial abuse in Rus­sia after he was tar­geted by chants in 2013 when play­ing for City against CSKA Mos­cow in the Cham­pi­ons League.

But the for­mer Ivory Coast in­ter­na­tional pledged his sup­port to FIFA and the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment to help stamp out the is­sue in the lead- up to next year’s fi­nals.

“If racism sit­u­a­tions are go­ing to be in­volved then it is go­ing to be a big mess,” Toure said in a video posted on so­cial me­dia sup­port­ing a cam­paign com­bat­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion in foot­ball.

“We have to hope and be pos­i­tive on that. Ev­ery­one is talk­ing about Rus­sia maybe be­ing a lit­tle bit dif­fi­cult.

“But I hope that Rus­sia sur- prises ev­ery­body. I want to say to FIFA and to the gov­ern­ment in Rus­sia as well, that if you need me I can help.

“I don’t want to be in­volved in only talk­ing. I want to see ac­tion and peo­ple be real. These things are very im­por­tant for the fu­ture of foot­ball.”

Brazil­ian striker Hulk said in July 2015 that he en­coun­tered racism in “al­most ev­ery game” while play­ing for Zenit St Peters­burg.

Brazil-born Loko­mo­tiv Mos­cow goal­keeper Guil­herme, twice capped by Rus­sia, was re­cently sub­jected to racist chant­ing by Spar­tak Mos­cow fans in July’s Rus­sian Su­per Cup.

But Rus­sia has vowed to en­sure fans’ safety when it hosts the 2018 World Cup by crack­ing down on both hooli­gan­ism and racism.

The coun­try also drew praise from Ger­many coach Joachim Loew and FIFA pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino for its host­ing of the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup, which passed with­out in­ci­dent off the field.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.