Russia 2018 could be a ‘big mess’ unless…, says Yaya Toure


Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure says next year’s World Cup will be a “big mess” if it is marred by racism and discrimination.

Toure, 34, was the subject of racist chants when City played CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in Russia in 2013.

He wants to help Fifa and the Russian government tackle the problem in the build-up to next summer’s tournament.

“We have to see change because people have been talking but nothing has really been taken care of,” he added.

Last month, Liverpool complained to Uefa about alleged racist abuse directed at winger Bobby Adekanye during a Uefa Youth League match at Spartak Moscow.

In 2015, former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off while playing for Russian side FC Ufa after he gestured to the crowd with his middle finger in response to alleged monkey chants.

Ex-Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk, meanwhile, claimed he was racially abused in “almost every game” he played in Russia.

Toure has taken part in a short film supporting a campaign tackling discrimination in football.

And the former Ivory Coast international sees the 2018 World Cup as a watershed moment for Fifa in its battle to curb discrimination.

Asked in the film about his hopes for the tournament, Toure said: “If racism situations are going to be involved then it is going to be a big mess.

“Everyone is talking about Russia maybe being a little bit difficult. But I hope that Russia surprises everybody by trying to make something very nice.”

Toure, who speaks Russian, added: “I want to say to Fifa and to the government in Russia as well that if you need me I can help.

“I don’t want to be involved in only talking.

“I want to see action and people be real. These things are very important for the future of football.”

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