Russians blame smear campaign by British over Yaya Toure's racism claims

Yaya Toure has claimed he was racially abused. Photo: PA

A top CSKA Moscow official believes his club are victims of a British smear campaign against Russian football following widespread calls for punishment over Yaya Toure's accusations of racist abuse.

Toure made a complaint of fans making monkey noises during Manchester City's midweek Champions League victory over CSKA in Russia, with the hosts later charged by UEFA.

The incident has been widely condemned, but CSKA general director Roman Babayev believes it has been "exaggerated" by Toure and the British media.

Quoted by the Daily Telegraph, he said: "The British do constantly try to find any reason to smear Russian football. It is totally possible that in this case we're running into this same intention.

"I read the main English publications and they are raising a real hysteria. They are writing that the fans wanted to almost lynch the dark-skinned players on the field. And most journalists probably didn't even watch the match."

UEFA has charged CSKA with the "racist behaviour of their fans" but president Michel Platini has ordered an immediate investigation into failed protocol relating to the racism allegation after Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan did not ask for an appeal for supporters to stop to be broadcast.

UEFA said it would publish the findings of its investigation once the disciplinary case against CSKA had been dealt with by its independent control and disciplinary body on October 30.

Babyev added: "We are preparing a legal argument. We're not denying the problem of racism on the whole, including at Russian stadiums, but in this case it seems that the situation is exaggerated.

"The match delegate didn't hear any outburst of racism toward Yaya Toure and so, of course, didn't document any during the course of the match."

The claim from Babyev came after Toure suggested Ivory Coast team-mate Seydou Doumbia may have been manipulated in an attempt to play down the racism row.

Doumbia's comments have seen him take a central role in the arguments. Credit: PA

CSKA forward Doumbia dismissed his compatriot's allegation, although he subsequently muddied the waters by denying he spoke to any journalists before later admitting he had indeed given an interview on the subject.

"Doumbia is a young brother, someone I admire who I have known a long time - we come from the same country," Toure told BBC Afrique, part of the World Service.

"I don't want to say things that will put him in trouble but you can see a little bit the manipulation around all this.

"It is so pathetic and so sad to see things (racism) like that. I am ashamed to still have to talk about this subject.

"It is not a nice feeling to go and play a football match, to bring joy to the people and to be called a monkey or to hear monkey noises. I don't look like a monkey.

"I am not deaf. Other people must have seen it."

Doumbia left himself open to question after a confusing account of his post-match quotes.

The 25-year-old was reported as saying Toure "obviously got excited" in relation to him hearing monkey chants.

Doumbia took to his Facebook page to try to clear up the situation, initially writing: "I want to clarify my position after my Ivory Coast team-mate and friend Yaya Toure accused CSKA fans of racism.

"I want to insist that I did not talk to any journalist about these facts so none of the quotes you read in the press came from me."

A few hours later Doumbia added another entry in which he stated: "I want to insist that I did not talk to any journalist about these facts, except just one from Sport-Express, whom I know well, so none of the quotes you read in other publications outside Russia came from me."

The quotes in Sport-Express were the ones reproduced by CSKA's own website and, while there may have been slight mistranslations further afield, there appears to be no doubt that Doumbia is standing by the words printed by the Russian newspaper.

The CSKA fans are known for their aggressive support. Credit: PA

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has told Toure that a boycott of the 2018 World Cup would achieve nothing.

Toure raised the spectre of black players refusing to play in Russia in five years' time, saying: "If we aren't confident at the World Cup, coming to Russia, we don't come."

But Blatter, addressing the Oxford Union, said that would be running away from the issue.

Quoted by the Daily Telegraph, he said: "It will stop, I tell you, but it is not only about what FIFA can do.

"FIFA has six confederations and 209 national associations and they have to take responsibility, too. And in the case of Toure it is about UEFA. He suggested a boycott, but a boycott has never been any solution.

"We have already seen boycotts of the Olympic Games, and what was the result? Nothing - because if you have a problem, you cannot run away from it. The problem is still there. You have to solve it, and we know this.

"We will make sure at the next FIFA executive committee meeting, in Brazil in December, we will again appeal to everybody to deliver sanctions.

"If you take one of the teams out of the Champions League, think about what will happen. This will only stop if the sanctions work."