Former Barcelona and Manchester City soccer star Yaya Toure has called out FIFA for not doing enough to stamp out the racism prevalent among fans of the sport who jeer at Black players at matches, particularly in Europe.
According to The Independent, the 36-year-old Ivory Coast-born midfielder commented after helping Chinese League One club Qingdao Huanghai secure promotion to the Super League in that nation, referring to racist abuse Black players from England took after a match in Bulgaria.
“This is a shame, why are you playing for England?” said Toure, who has been outspoken on football’s racism problem. He said that he would have walked off the field during the jeers from the crowd.
England’s 6-0 victory in Sofia earlier this month was met with racist chants and Nazi salutes, and the game was halted twice. Instead of walking off the field, players opted to complete the match. The abuse from the crowd was aimed at Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings and Marrcus Rashford.
“People from Fifa don’t care anyway because we’ve been talking about this, but it’s still continuing,” said Toure. “I don’t want to say that I’m not concerned, I’m concerned.
“They have to be serious about it, players need to make serious moves about it otherwise they (the racists) will continue to do that. They have to get the players out of the field,” he added.
Having spent the last few months playing for Qingdao Huanghai, Toure noted the cultural differences between playing in China and Europe.
“It’s been a nice experience because I’ve seen people with a different mentality from Europe — the way to play football, the way they feel and their behavior on the field,” he added.
“When I play in the stadiums, nobody boos me because I’m Black, it’s a different culture, they respect.
“In Europe, they respect nobody.”
Toure believes the problems will persist until FIFA officials get serious and address the matter properly.
“They are always talking, ‘Blah, blah, blah’, and what? Nothing changes,” he added.
One Daily Mail reader commented , “I have to agree with him. FIFA moves slower than a tortoise on so many issues apart from decisions which put millions into their own pockets. Corrupt and useless.”
Another added, “They have no issue tacking homophobia or anti Semitism though.”