Racism in Moscow: Ramifications for FC Bayern München

Alex Grimm

Considering Jérome Boateng and David Alaba of Ghanaian and Nigerian descent, the Yaya Touré incident is a little more queasy-feeling. New UEFA disciplinary actions could make a trip to Moscow bearable.

Bayern Munich tied their biggest winning margin of the season in their 5-0 defeat of Viktoria Plzen in Wednesday's Champions League match. With big results, that may not be the biggest storyline of the third round of the champions league, but the attention may not be football at all.

Yaya Touré is the latest victim of racism in football, the 28-year-old Ivorian hearing speckled monkey chants in Manchester City's 2-1 win against PFC CSKA Moskva. The words "stupid" and "very very sad" exited his mouth as he tried to verbalize his frustration.

Incidents involving racism is a hot-button topic in 2013, but never involving FC Bayern players. Now with the trip coming to Russian's capital, one cannot help but worry about how David Alaba and Jérôme Boateng, both of African descent, will experience Moscow.

Boateng unfortunately has a personal connection with racism, having is brother become the victim of racist chants in an AC Milan friendly match against Pro Patria. Kevin Prince Boateng is now a United Nations ambassador for racism, comparing racism to malaria in a UN speech in March. Jérome was in complete support of his brother throughout the entire incident, even though some thought his actions were not the right ones.

David Alaba, whose father is Nigerian and mother is Philippine, has not been the subject of racist chants, at least not ones loud enough to foster front-page news flashes.

PFC CSKA Moskva did not have a huge history with racist chants. Neighbors Lokomotiv Moskva had fans thank the club for selling Peter Odemwinge with racist posters. Zenit St. Petersburg has made the most news, including the front office denying a fan manifesto wanting non-white and homosexual players excluded from the team.

In light of the possible racism that Boateng, Alaba, or Dante could face, UEFA has added new "no-tolerance" regulations that sanction guilty supporters with partial supporter bans as a minimum defense. Paragraphs 2 of Article 14 of UEFA's disciplinary regulations states the following:

If one or more of a member association or club's supporters engage in the behavior described in paragraph 1 [who insists the human dignity of a person or group of persons by whatever means, including on the grounds of skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin], the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure.

UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (Edition 2013)

One could infer that in the context of the circumstance of the Mancester City could cause CSKA Moskva's next match to involve a partial stadium closure at their next UEFA home game, which is the November 27 match against FC Bayern.

Barring supporters would certainly sit well with Manchester City, who filed a formal complaint with UEFA following the game according to the Guardian. The report also mentions the referee noted Touré's complaint, one that he wants actions taken on.

"I'm very, very disappointed about what those fans have done today and I think Uefa have to take action because players with the same colour of skin will always be in the same position."

"I want to see Uefa do something and take some action. We have to be as strong as possible, otherwise they will continue like that. Maybe they could ban the stadium, I don't know, for a couple of years or a couple of months."

With this implication in mind, a match in Arena Khimki may be less of an away match than originally expected. FC Bayern has dodged racism issues in the past, an optimism would suggest a continuation of that.

No player deserves racist chants, especially a world class player like Yaya Touré.

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