LONDON – Yaya Toure responded with fury and Raheem Sterling with mockery after manager Massimiliano Allegri and teammates said Juventus youngster Moise Kean shared the blame for racist abuse by Cagliari fans.
Toure, who was speaking at Uefa’s Equal Game conference at Wembley, said he hoped the Italian football authorities would respond in a determined fashion to the chants and to Allegri’s lukewarm defence of his player.
Kean, 19, along with teammates Blaise Matuidi and Alex Sandro, was subjected to monkey noises during the match on Tuesday.
Kean, an Italian international, reacted by celebrating with his hands outstretched in front of the Cagliari fans after scoring his side’s second in the 2-0 victory.
Allegri and fellow goal-scorer Leonardo Bonucci both said Kean had not helped himself.
“He is a young man and he has to learn, but certain things from the crowd also shouldn’t be heard,” said Allegri.
Bonucci said the blame was “50-50”.
England international Sterling, who also reacted by celebrating in front of abusive home fans after scoring for England away to Montenegro on March 25, took to Instagram to ridicule Bonucci.
“The blame is 50-50 @bonuccileo19,” Sterling posted on his story alongside a number of laughing and applause emojis. “All you can do now is laugh.”
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) April 3, 2019
Kean defended his actions as “the best way to respond to racism”.
Toure, the former Ivory Coast captain, said Allegri should have offered his full support to Kean.
“I was shocked when I saw that happen, and then the manager saying Kean shouldn’t have done that,” said Toure.
“I want to see what the Italian FA is going to do about it. I want to see a response.”
Jason Roberts, the former Premier League striker who is Concacaf director of development, said he was shocked at the response of some of Kean’s teammates.
“I think it’s deeply troubling when you see a young player having to endure what was thrown at him,” said Roberts.
“What was stark was the reaction of some opposition players and his teammates, as if he had done something wrong. Who else in the workplace would have to endure that?”
Roberts, who was an international for Grenada, said players should not feel they had to take the lead because administrators were not doing enough.
“I don’t think we are doing enough, and the players are having to take the lead,” he said.
“For that to be the case in 2019 shows we have a long way to go.”
The negative comments by Allegri and Bonucci to Kean’s actions contrasts to the praise showered on Sterling.
It was important for me to ask the question everyone wants to know!!!
Talking is part of the process but means very little if there is no action or change!
Let’s change the situation!! I stand with you Moise Kean!!! 🙌🏾 https://t.co/GMNVUQdF1X
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) April 3, 2019
The Manchester City star, along with teammates Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi, was subjected to racist chants from Montenegro fans during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Podgorica last week.
However, when he scored the final goal in a 5-1 victory, he cupped his hands to his ears, a reaction that gained him praise too from Toure.
“I was surprised Raheem Sterling stayed so calm,” said Toure, a former teammate at Manchester City. “He is like my little brother. When you have seen what he has done, surely he has to be Footballer of the Year.”