Kick It Out chief Lord Ouseley: CSKA Moscow in denial

A Man City player wearing a Kick It Out sweatshirt. Photo: PA

Anti-racism campaigner Lord Herman Ouseley wants UEFA to help Russian football accept and combat its racism problem.

CSKA Moscow have been hit with a partial stadium closure after their fans were found guilty of racially abusing Manchester City's Yaya Toure by European football's governing body.

But still the club insist Toure's complaints about monkey chants during the Champions League clash against CSKA in Russia a fortnight ago were overblown.

Coach Leonid Slutsky said "the situation has been exaggerated and there was an over-reaction" as he faced media ahead of his side's return match against City at the Etihad Stadium.

CSKA had previously denied any racist abuse occurred at all.

Lord Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, told BT Sport: "The club are in denial.

"They don't think they have a racist problem, they say they have black players and don't have racism.

"UEFA need to help them accept it and deal with it, for the sake of the club and the nation's reputation.

"Otherwise, if they continue to be in denial, their fans are empowered to continue as they have been. The club have to recognise they have a problem."

Man City midfielder Yaya Toure complained about monkey chants in Moscow. Credit: PA

After the match in Moscow, Toure raised the possibility of players boycotting the 2018 World Cup in Russia if the country did not adequately address issues of racism.

Lord Ouseley said: "The World Cup is five years away, so there is time to rectify the problems.

"If black players don't want to go to Russia to play then there will be a problem, but there is time to sort it out as the players don't want to miss out on the World Cup."

Toure complained to referee Ovidiu Hategan during the game at the Arena Khimki about the monkey chanting.

Under UEFA protocol that should have led to an announcement being made over the public address system urging spectators to desist.

Further incidences could then lead to a suspension of the match or even an abandonment.

That protocol was not followed in Moscow and, after a UEFA investigation, the venue director was sacked.

Players' union chief Gordon Taylor fully expects an abandonment if the problem recurs during City's home match against CSKA.

Taylor said: "There is a clear protocol and we will expect it to be properly executed if it should happen again.

"The club captain can make the referee aware of any racist abuse, the officials then notify the UEFA observer who instructs the club to make a Tannoy announcement.

"If the racism persists, the referee must remove the players from the field of play, and the match has to be abandoned."