Wednesday 25 April 2018

Toure shows us the only way to tackle Russia bigotry

Michale McCarthy

The treatment of Manchester City's Yaya Toure in Moscow last week was too familiar. His reaction and threat of boycotting the 2018 World Cup was new, though – and welcome.

The biggest sporting events should never take place in these countries. How can an African side feel comfortable playing in Moscow or St Petersburg? How can a gay Olympian go to Sochi for the Winter Games next year?

We know that sport's administrators don't care. It's now up to the athletes to make a stand.

Why should we think Toure won't have to put up with more vile chanting in 2018? There has been no evidence of Russia trying to solve the issue in the past.

Meanwhile, Zenit St Petersburg wouldn't hire a black player until 2012 and, even then, faced near mutiny from their fans.

Sports people are often reluctant to get involved in these issues, but that's no longer good enough. It's time to use their significant power. We can't sit back waiting for Sepp Blatter to suddenly give a damn.


Irish Independent

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