Yaya Toure says FIFA’s decision to close a racism task-force has him uncertain about the governing body’s intentions on ensuring racial abuse within football is a thing of the past.
The FIFA Taskforce Against Racism and Discrimination was established in 2013 to instigate strategies to take on the issue, but despite doubts about the success of the body, FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said the task-force had “clearly fulfilled” its’ objectives.
Manchester City midfielder Toure was an advisor to the body and expressed his concerns about the closure, especially in the lead-up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia where racism has been a continuing concern.
“When I was asked by FIFA to help with the fight against racism in football, I didn’t think twice,” Toure posted on his official website:
“I have experienced racism all my life – be that in the streets or in the stadiums. So to help address this was my responsibility – a way of preventing other players and fans from going through the same issues I had found in my career.
“When I received the letter telling me the FIFA task-force was to be discontinued I was very disappointed.
“The letter listed the good work that had been carried out as a result of the task-force’s advice and recommendations. So my question is, after failing to deal with racism sufficiently for decades – why stop when something is beginning to work? Are FIFA being complacent ahead of a World Cup in Russia? This makes no sense.
“The task-force brought together the expertise of campaigners, football administrators and players.
“It was a resource that gave FIFA the expertise they clearly did not have before. As a group, the task-force could help shape and put in place the most effective initiatives to keep players and fans safe. The task-force could question when FIFA were not delivering on its promise to do as much as they could in this area.
“My only hope is that FIFA have thought this through. The letter I received does not fill me with confidence. It will be the fans and players that suffer if FIFA do not get this right.”