Football: Uefa slammed by players' union for not acting over Toure abuse

The world players' union has criticised European football's governing body Uefa for failing to enforce its own guidelines on racism following the abuse hurled at Manchester City's Yaya Toure (above) in Moscow. -- PHOTO: AP
The world players' union has criticised European football's governing body Uefa for failing to enforce its own guidelines on racism following the abuse hurled at Manchester City's Yaya Toure (above) in Moscow. -- PHOTO: AP

(REUTERS) - The world players' union has criticised European football's governing body Uefa for failing to enforce its own guidelines on racism following the abuse hurled at Manchester City's Yaya Toure in Moscow.

FIFPro said that Uefa's match officials failed to act after the Ivorian was racially abused during the Champions League clash away to CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.

"We're very disappointed that a clear agreed protocol which is designed to deal with these situations was not implemented,"said Bobby Barnes, head of FIFPro's Europe division.

Uefa issued guidelines in July 2009 giving match officials the power to stop and abandon games in case of serious incident.

They outlined a three-step procedure for abandoning games. It said that the referee should first stop the match and ask for announcements to be made over the public address system.

The second step would be to suspend the match for a given period of time and, finally, abandon it.

In March, Uefa issued a resolution calling on referees to follow those guidelines.

No match, however, has ever been abandoned in European club competition since the guidelines were introduced.

"The player, having done what was asked of him to notify the referee, quite rightly expected that the referee would go speak with the safety officer," said Barnes.

"The (Uefa) protocol agreed is that the safety officer should make a stadium announcement warning the fans that if the chants do not desist that the game will be stopped.

"Obviously it's difficult in a pressure situation, referees have lots to think about but there are a number of officials at games, notwithstanding the fact you've got additional referees behind the goals in Champions League matches."

He added: "The player is very upset as indeed are other players, not just black players but all players at the club.

"It's absolutely ridiculous in this day and age that the supporters of any football club feel that it is acceptable to do that."