Black players may boycott Russia World Cup: Toure

Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:19pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Black players could boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia if the country does not tackle racism in the stands, according to Manchester City's Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure.

Toure, whose allegations that he suffered racist abuse during Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League victory at CSKA Moscow have prompted UEFA to open disciplinary proceedings against the club, said FIFA and Russian authorities needed to act.

"It's very important," British media quoted him as saying on Friday. "Otherwise we are not confident coming to the World Cup in Russia. We don't come."

But Sepp Blatter, president of world soccer's governing body FIFA, said a boycott would not be a deterrent against racism.

"I think we should never speak about a boycott of the World Cup," Blatter told reporters in Oxford, England.

"We should fight against racism but the boycott would not be a weapon against racism."

The idea of a boycott did not sit well with some Premier League managers and Chelsea's Jose Mourinho said the enjoyment of the majority should not be ruined by the actions of the minority.

"A huge percentage of the people that go to football stadiums are people who respect the differences and respect everybody, and they are more important than the small groups that express themselves in a negative way," he told a news conference on Friday.

"The history of football was made by many races. Let's fight the thousands but let's give to the billions what the billions want, and that is the best football with the best players from all over the world, whatever their race."   Continued...

Manchester City's Yaya Toure celebrates scoring against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England, September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples