Yaya Toure and Howard Webb back FIFA anti-racism plans

Tuesday 12 May 2015
Yaya Toure speaking at Wembley Stadium
Yaya Toure has called for tougher sanctions to punish countries with racist fans saying abuse can "break" players.

City midfielder Toure, who suffered racist abuse while playing against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, was speaking at Wembley Stadium at the launch of FIFA's new system of match observers to monitor incidents of racism and discrimination at World Cup qualifiers in the build-up to the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Toure said: "I have been in the situation where there have been monkey chants and it's difficult to deal with that. As sportsmen you want to continue to the end but when you hear something like that it hurts you and breaks you.

"You need to give them a radical sanction – paying a £20,000 fine is not enough, you need to do more."

Howard Webb, the former World Cup final referee who is now in charge of Premier League officials, also sits on the task force and said referees would benefit from having the observers - and that in the future there could be direct contact between observers and match officials.

Under current rules, referees can ask for an announcement to be made asking for racist abuse to be stopped, then take players off the pitch and even abandon the match.

Webb said: "The introduction of the observers should help – if you are a match official on the field it may be difficult to appreciate what's happening in the stands and the bigger picture, you are concentrating on your role. Having observers takes some of the burden away.

"In the future that may evolve so that you have contact between the person in the stands and the officials."

By FA Staff