MANCHESTER City midfielder Yaya Toure has insisted he is not deaf and remains adamant he was the victim of monkey chants in Moscow this week.
Uefa has charged CSKA Moscow with the “racist behaviour of their fans” after Wednesday’s Champions League defeat.
Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan could also face sanction after failing to broadcast an appeal for supporters to stop after Toure made his complaint.
Predictably, CSKA have been pleading their innocence, insisting Toure must have misheard what they claim to have been nothing more than booing. That stance was given more credence as it has been backed by CSKA player – and Toure’s Ivory Coast team-mate – Seydou Doumbia, although his comments have left some room for confusion.
Speaking to BBC Afrique, part of the World Service, Toure said: “I am not deaf. Other people must have seen it.
“We are all humans. 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.
“Doumbia is a young brother. Someone I admire who I have known a long time – we come from the same country.
“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.”
Doumbia was reported as saying his Ivory Coast compatriot “obviously got excited” in relation to him hearing monkey chants but 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, saying: “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.
Uefa president Michel Platini has ordered an investigation into failed protocol relating to Toure’s allegation.
Under UEFA rules, the referee is allowed to stop the match and ask for an announcement to be made urging fans to stop such racist conduct and warn the game will be suspended and then abandoned should it continue. On Wednesday, though, no announcement was made and the match continued.