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Kick It Out: Ban Man City ref for racism failure

OFFICIAL INCOMPETENCE: Yaya Toure, right, complains to referee Ovidiu Hategan about being racially abused but no action is taken (PA)

LORD OUSELEY of Kick It Out has demanded Uefa ban the referee who took charge of Manchester City’s Champions League against CSKA Moscow that was marred by home supporters of the Russian club racially abusing black players.

During last night’s match (October 23), City midfielder Yaya Toure complained to match official Ovidiu Hategan about racist chants emanating from sections of the crowd, but the referee took no action to protect players from abuse.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Ouseley said: “The referee should not be refereeing again.

“He failed to do his duty last night and that is a clear issue that Uefa should be dealing with.”

In 2009, Uefa issued guidelines that gives officials powers to prevent fans from making racist chants – as a first step they can announce a warning on the public speaker system, if it continues the match can be temporarily suspended, and as a final measure the game may be called off.

Hategan, from Romania, is obliged to include Toure’s complaint in the match report he submits to Uefa today.

Following the end of the game, the 30-year-old Ivory Coast international said he was “furious” with the racist chanting and said Uefa must take action against CSKA Moscow.

Uefa's communications director David Farrelly said: “We are waiting for the reports from the referee and the match delegate as they are our eyes and ears at the match.”

World players’ union FIFPro said it was “disappointed” the referee failed to implement the Uefa policy to stop fans abusing players.

Its European president Bobby Barnes said: “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, and 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.”

Concerning what action Uefa will take in light of the racist abuse, Ouseley added: “Will [Uefa] do what they have always done and have sanctions that are applied in a way that will not stop this happening again?

“If they don't do that, it brings the question: what are clubs going to do to protect their players? What is the union going to do to protect their players?”

He also warned more players could take action into their own hands by following the example of former AC Milan player Kevin Prince Boateng, who walked off the pitch during a friendly match in Italy at the beginning of this year.

The Ghana international’s walk-off protest, which saw all players in the game leave the field, was widely applauded across the game, and Boateng was invited to speak at Fifa and the UN about discrimination and equality in sport.

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