Manuel Pellegrini warns CSKA Moscow fans against racially abusing Manchester City players again
Manuel Pellegrini has warned CSKA Moscow fans against racially abusing Manchester City players again.
Last Updated: 05/11/13 6:49am
With the sides due to meet again in the Champions League on Tuesday night, he also aimed some thinly-veiled criticism at the club after a section of their fans targeted Yaya Toure with monkey chants in the Russian capital two weeks ago.
CSKA vehemently denied any taunting took place but the fans' behaviour led to a UEFA fine and a partial closure of their stadium for their next European home game, against Bayern Munich, on 27 November.
"The fans of CSKA made an important mistake," City manager Pellegrini said. "The club - I don't know why they denied it at the beginning or what their reaction is now - but UEFA acted and gave them the punishment they deserved.
"I hope we can leave it in the past. The Russian fans should remember they have a World Cup coming up in their country."
Pellegrini said he would not offer Toure any special advice on dealing with any repeat of the racist abuse, adding: "I think Yaya is an experienced player.
"What happened in Russia maybe he can't forget but tomorrow is a special match for him, not because of that but because Manchester City can go to the next stage of the Champions League. I think he will only be thinking about football."
However, defender Pablo Zabaleta has offered Toure the squad's support if there are more ugly scenes.
"Obviously what happened in Moscow was really hard for Yaya," Zabaleta said. "We are all behind him and any time we see something like that we try to help.
"Hopefully UEFA is always on it. As players we can do nothing, we just need to give a massive support to the black players when they have some problems like that."
CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky, pressed on the matter at Monday's pre-match press conference, said: "We have already spoken about our official position. It is normal, like many people, we are against racism.
"In our team we have black players. We love them and give them our support.
"As for the match, we did not hear any racial slurs, so it is difficult to comment.
"What I can say is the club is categorically against racism. We think the situation has been exaggerated and there was an over-reaction.
"We have received our punishment, and it was up to UEFA to make this decision."
Manchester City v CSKA Moscow will be live on Sky Sports 2 from 7pm on Tuesday.