Friday 13 December 2019

Toure's online racist abuse overshadows City's vital clash

Police investigate 'disgraceful' comments ahead of must-win encounter

Yaya Toure goes through his paces among his team-mates ahead of tonight's Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Yaya Toure goes through his paces among his team-mates ahead of tonight's Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Kevin Garside

Manchester City's Champions League game against CSKA Moscow tonight has been overshadowed by the latest incident of racist abuse against Yaya Touré, which the police are investigating.

City's Ivorian talisman has found himself under attack on his Twitter feed just hours after returning to social media after a self-imposed five-month absence.

"For me it's a disgrace," he said. "We need to do something to tell people that this kind of behaviour has to stop. I want those people to understand what they're doing is wrong.

"I never see this in rugby, I never see that in tennis or anything else, I don't know where it's coming from."

Racist problems have already caused City's away game against CSKA Moscow to be played in an empty stadium and the abuse once more thrusts the issue of racism to the forefront of this particular Champions League engagement.

Supporters of tonight's Russian visitors are banned from attending under the terms of a sanction being served for racist abuse aimed at Roma's players in a group fixture in Italy in September.

Pellegrini maintains his team will still go through and has targeted victory in the home games against Moscow and Bayern Munich before the trip to Rome next month, which he claims will decide who joins the German champions in the knockout stages.

Since Pellegrini was brought in to achieve what Roberto Mancini could not, success in Europe, it is clear that City cannot afford another setback in what has been a curious campaign.

The loss in Munich was perhaps undeserved but in the home draw with Roma, City displayed their maddening inability to crack the European code. (© Independent News Service)

Manchester City v CSKA Moscow, live, RTE2, 7.45pm

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