Monday, December 11, 2017

Toure brands FIFA ´complacent´ after racism taskforce closed

Yaya Toure has accused FIFA of complacency after football’s governing body closed a taskforce examining racism in the game.

The Fifa Taskforce Against Racism and Discrimination was established in 2013 by then-president Sepp Blatter, but doubts persist about its success two years away from a World Cup in Russia – a country in which Toure himself was the victim of racist abuse during a match against CSKA Moscow in 2013.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said the taskforce had “clearly fulfilled” its mandate at the Soccerex convention in Manchester on Monday.

Manchester City midfielder Toure, a former Ivory Coast international, was an advisor to the body and expressed grave concerns that it had been closed.

Toure posted on his official website: “When I was asked by FIFA to help with the fight against racism in football, I didn’t think twice. 

“I have experienced racism all my life – be that in the streets or in the stadiums. So to help address this was my responsibility – a way of preventing other players and fans from going through the same issues I had found in my career.

“When I received the letter telling me the FIFA taskforce was to be discontinued I was very disappointed. 

“The letter listed the good work that had been carried out as a result of the taskforce’s advice and recommendations. So my question is, after failing to deal with racism sufficiently for decades – why stop when something is beginning to work? Are FIFA being complacent ahead of a World Cup in Russia? This makes no sense.

“The taskforce brought together the expertise of campaigners, football administrators and players. 

“It was a resource that gave FIFA the expertise they clearly did not have before. As a group, the taskforce could help shape and put in place the most effective initiatives to keep players and fans safe. The taskforce could question when FIFA were not delivering on its promise to do as much as they could in this area.

“My only hope is that FIFA have thought this through. The letter I received does not fill me with confidence. It will be the fans and players that suffer if FIFA do not get this right.”

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