Yaya Toure believes Leonardo Bonucci’s reaction to his Juventus team-mate Moise Kean suffering racist abuse was “the worst scenario you can have in football”.
Bonucci suggested Kean had “50-50” culpability for inciting home supporters during Juve’s 2-0 win at Cagliari after celebrating with his arms outstretched.
The Italy defender has since sought to defuse the situation by posting an Instagram image of himself and Kean which included the caption: “NO TO RACISM”.
Raheem Sterling, Memphis Depay and Mario Balotelli have all expressed solidarity with Kean, as well as criticising Bonucci for his initial response.
Speaking at the UEFA Equal Game conference at Wembley on Wednesday, Toure was similarly unimpressed.
“For me, it is the worst scenario you can have in football – your team-mate attacking and saying things like that,” he said.
“You can imagine how hurt I was when I saw this thing happening. We should do something to move on as soon as possible.
“I don’t want to get into what [Bonucci] said because it’s disrespectful regarding his team-mate. I don’t want to be harsh with him but if he was my team-mate he would feel me today.
“I think he should apologise first to his team-mate and to the team as well.
“When a situation happens, people always look to the black person for a response [but] Bonucci has to be smarter than that because this is a difficult situation at the moment.
“We’ve been talking about it, we want to see things move on and if he is a proper footballer who is Italian and white talking about these things, ’50-50’… if he was my team-mate he would feel me for sure. I don’t want to go further than that.”
“No to racism”
Leonardo Bonucci has responded to criticism of his comments regarding the abuse suffered by Moise Kean at Cagliari pic.twitter.com/VOtl0Xh6TT
— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) April 3, 2019
Toure believes greater diversity at a governance level is key to football’s fight against racism following a number of high-profile recent incidents in Europe.
The former Barcelona and Manchester City star also added his voice to those in favour of players leaving the field in response to abuse.
“The people who make the decision, I want to see diversity in there,” he said. “When something like this happens it is easy to jump on the situation, but when it is not happening we have to see progress and proper work.
“Otherwise, in a few days, we are going to feel this kind of situation again. We’re talking but the decision makers need to do more. I want to see action, not just talking. We have to see progress otherwise will see it again.”
“We can see the talk but it’s still going to continue. As long as people at the top don’t decide anything it is always going to happen. We are going to continue talking and nothing will be done.”
Asked whether this meant players should walk off when faced with racism, Toure replied: “Yeah, let’s do this.”
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