The chairman of anti-racist campaign group Kick It Out has stated that he believes that Ovidiu Hategan, the referee for Man City’s recent ill-fated clash with CSKA Moscow, should be banned, reports BBC
City defender Yaya Toure complained to Hategan about what sounded like racist chants coming from the stands, but the referee did not enforce any sanctions placed within his jurisdiction in such circumstances.
Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley believes that Hategan had “failed to do his duty,” despite CSKA’s statement that they are “surprised and disappointed” in Toure’s allegations.
The club state that they have reviewed video footage from the match, and state they can find no evidence of any racist behavior towards the Ivory Coast midfielder.
A club statement reads: “Having carefully studied the video of the game, we found no racist insults from fans of CSKA. In many occasions, especially during attacks on our goal, fans booed and whistled to put pressure on rival players, but regardless of their race.
“In particular, this happened with Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko. Why the Ivorian midfielder took it as all being directed at him is not clear.”
Referees are permitted to stop a game and put out a warning for any racist behavior to stop, and should this fail they can suspend the match for a short period of time.
Should that step fail, the match can be abandoned altogether.
City have lodged a formal complaint with UEFA, and information will be included in the official’s match report as Toure spoke to Hategan during the game.
This is the second time Hategan has been involved in a match with racist overtones, as he took charge of the match between Lazio and Tottenham in the Europa League last season, where the Italian fans were found guilty of racist behaviour.
Ouseley has taken a firm stance, stating: “This has gone on for too long. UEFA and Fifa take us for mugs. That can’t go on any longer.”
The story also carries important indications, as Russia are to host the 2018 World Cup – and as a result they are not keen on being associated with racist behaviour ahead of such a major competition.
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