Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yaya Toure On Racism: Monkey Chants Can Break You

It's not the first time he has been asked the question and it probably won't be the last, but it never gets any easier to answer. How does Yaya Toure feel when football fans are directing monkey chants at him?

The Manchester City midfielder, who plays for the Ivory Coast, detailed Tuesday the emotional turmoil he always felt between wanting to play on and refusing to be subjected to those chants by walking off the pitch.

"It's difficult to deal with that," he said recalling the abuse he had been subjected to by CSKA Moscow fans in 2013. "As a sportsman, you want to finish the game but when you hear that [monkey chants], it breaks you. It's not easy to experience that," added Toure, who was helping FIFA launch its Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System at Wembley in London.

"If we aren't confident at the World Cup, coming to Russia, we don't come," Toure said immediately after that game, though he was in a more conciliatory mood on Tuesday. FIFA will send independent observers trained by FARE, the European anti-discrimination organisation, to matches that are deemed "higher risk", such as games involving national teams comprised of players from various ethnic backgrounds -- England, France and Germany -- explained the world governing body's Head of Sustainability Frederick Addiechi.

The 'monitors', will report any incidents directly to FIFA, which will then be able to sanction punishments of fines or stadium closures to any sporting body they find guilty.

Toure says he is pleased that decisive action could now be taken. "I'm very satisfied to see that FIFA is taking this issue very seriously and putting in place concrete measures to stop behavior which goes against the spirit of our sport," explained the Ivorian.

"We have to take sanctions," added Toure. "Something strong has to be done, to show they have to stop." "Football is about togetherness and happiness. We need to show them that they need to change or they will face radical sanctions.


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