LJUBLJANA: The international players’ union has accused referee Ovidiu Hategan and his match officials of ignoring UEFA’s orders in the Champions League racist chants row writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The European federation has directed officials that, should a complaint be made, the referee must order a warning over the public address system. Further actions include suspending the match and then even abandoning it.
The 33-year-old Romanian did not do so in Moscow yesterday despite receiving a complaint on the pitch from Yaya Toure during Manchester City’s 2-1 win away to CSKA at the Khimki stadium. Toure, City’s captain, protested at racist abuse aimed at himself and black team-mates.
While CSKA officials refused to acknowledge any such incident Bobby Barnes, European president of FIFPro, told the association’s annual congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia, about what had not happened.
Barnes, deputy ceo of England’s Professional Footballers’ Association, said: “The player is very upset as indeed are other players, not just black players but all players at the club.
“I would certainly hope in line with the hardline stance that UEFA has stated and intends to use in these circumstances they will make a meaningful sanction in this case. It’s important we send a message now.
“We’re very disappointed that a clear agreed protocol which is designed to deal with these situations was not effected.”
Barnes, having discussed the precise order of events with City officials, 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.”
UEFA tightened up its anti-discrimination regulations at Congress in London last May and has since administered total and partial of closures of grounds where racist abuse has been reported.
So far this season UEFA full closures have been enforced, for racist chanting, on Dinamo Zagreb, Legia Warsaw and Honved while partial closures have been ordered for Lech Poznan, Piast Gliwice, Lazio, APOEL and Rijeka.
UEFA’s new anti-discrimination rules
*Article 14 – Racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda
1. Any person under the scope of Article 3 who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons by w1hatever means, including on the grounds of skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin, incurs a suspension lasting at least 10 matches or a specified period of time, or any other appropriate sanction.
2. If one or more of a member association or club’s supporters engage in the behaviour described in paragraph 1, the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure.
3. The following disciplinary measures apply in the event of recidivism:
a) a second offence is punished with one match played behind closed doors and a fine of € 50,000;
b) any subsequent offence is punished with more than one match behind closed doors, a stadium closure, the forfeiting of a match, the deduction of points or disqualification from the competition.
4. If the circumstances of the case require it, the competent disciplinary body may impose additional disciplinary measures on the member association or club responsible, such as the playing of one or more matches behind closed doors, a stadium closure, the forfeiting of a match, the deduction of points or disqualification from the competition.
5. If the match is suspended by the referee because of racist and/or discriminatory conduct, the match may be declared forfeit.
6. The above disciplinary measures may be combined with specific directives aimed at tackling such conduct.
7. All forms of ideological, political and religious propaganda are forbidden. If this provision is breached, paragraphs 1 to 6 above apply by analogy.