Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughManchester City Stars Suffer Racial Abuse During Pre-season In Croatia - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Manchester City Stars Suffer Racial Abuse During Pre-season In Croatia - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Manchester City Stars Suffer Racial Abuse During Pre-season In Croatia



With the first-team off in America in their pre-season tour, Manchester City’s U-21 side were looking to continue in their winning ways in their pre-season training camp in Croatia, when racism reared its ugly head yet again. The incident happened during the U-21 side’s match against Croatian side HNK Rijeka in Novigrad, Croatia on Tuesday. The home side were leading 1-0, but the match was called off after 44 minutes after the visitors France U-19 international midfielder Seko Fofana was allegedly racially abused by an opponent.

After the incident took place, Fofana retaliated and kicked out at his opponent, following which he was promptly sent off. The English club believes that the Frenchman, who is generally a composed player, only acted out as a result of being racially abused moments earlier. After consulting with their players, the coach and the management decided to call the match off just moments before half-time.

In their official statement after the game, Manchester City said: “Following an alleged incident in the latter stages of the first half of the game, being played in Novigrad, Croatia, a decision was taken by the management staff to withdraw the City team from the field of play and cancel the game.

“Club representatives in Croatia and in Manchester are liaising with officials, the match organisers and the Croatian Football Association to pursue this matter further.”

While the reigning Premier League champions are fuming at the abuse levelled at their player, the home side Rijeka, didn’t seem to share the same belief at all. In fact, the official statement from the club, seemed to question whether such an incident even took place and were blaming the visitors for making a mountain out of a mole hill.

A statement from Rijeka read: “Manchester City coach Patrick Vieira entered the field, something was discussed with the referee, and then to the amazement of a well-filled stadium he took his team off the pitch. What are the reasons? They are known only to him.”

Manchester City, however are understandably concerned as this is the fourth occasion in the last two years, in which their players were racially abused by either opposing players or fans. City’s Elite Development Squad coach, Patrick Vieira, who himself was a victim of racist abuse as an Arsenal player back in 2000, was furious about what transpired and was explicit in his support of Foffana, who only joined the club from the Ligue 1 side FC Lorient in January 2013.

Instances of racist abuse have become almost common-place in the past few years, even with all the sanctions being imposed by UEFA. After all, it was only four months ago that former striker Andy Cole’s son Devante Cole, who is also a part of City’s Elite Development Squad was racially abused by Atlético Madrid fans, who were later fined €10,000 and ordered to partially close the stadium by UEFA.

It is not just in the junior level, but the seniors too haven’t been spared. It was only last October that influential midfielder Yaya Touré was abused by CSKA Moscow fans and that was after both he and Mario Balotelli, were the victim of racist chants by Porto supporters in February 2012.

With racism running rampant in many parts of Europe, it is high time UEFA impose stricter guidelines and bans on clubs which are found guilty of racially abusing a player.

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