UEFA has announced an investigation into the behaviour of CSKA fans in Wednesday night’s Champions League tie after a furious Toure informed match officials he was being subjected to monkey chants from the stands.
In a fresh development, UEFA is also investigating why referee Ovidiu Hategan did not follow anti-racism protocol and ask for an appeal to be made over the stadium’s loud speaker.
In an attempt to defuse the growing controversy, on Thursday morning CSKA released a statement claiming the club had failed to detect any racist abuse when studying video of the match.
The club’s official website also carried a quote from Toure’s international team-mate, Doumbia, which read: “I've heard nothing of this from our fans. Yes, they are noisy and try to put maximum pressure on the opponent, but they make no racist chants. So my fellow Ivory Coast international has obviously overreacted a little bit.”
Doumbia has now taken to his official Facebook page to deny ever making the comments which appeared on CSKA’s website.
“Dear Friends and Fans,” he wrote. “Following our 1-2 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, I want to clarify my position after my Ivory Coast team mate and friend Yaya Toure accused CSKA fans of racism.
“I want to insist that I did not talk to any journalist about these facts so none of the quotes you read in the press came from me. Thanks to all for your continued and faithful support.”
Eurosport Russia's Aleksandr Aksenov was at the game on Wednesday and gave us his take on the controversy:
"I was in the stadium on Wednesday and I heard the monkey chanting from CSKA fans. It started in the third minute of the game. It reoccurred several times when Toure gave a pass or shot.
"I can't understand comments from Roman Babaev, CSKA executive. In my personal opinion, he could say that the club is very interested in solving this situation and to help UEFA. But he said that he didn't hear anything and Manchester City need to prove the monkey chanting was real. It's a really strange statement from the executive of one of the biggest clubs in Russia."