Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Croatia's Rijeka strongly deny Man City racism claims

23 July 2014, 22:35

Zagreb - HNK Rijeka issued a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday denying any racism during Tuesday's abandoned friendly match between Manchester City's elite Under-21 development squad and Rijeka's youth side.

Rijeka youth coach Ranko Buteka also denied any of his players racially insulted any City player during the game, saying City coach Patrick Vieira may have led his team off at halftime because Rijeka were too strong for them.

The game was stopped after an alleged incident of racist abuse against City's 19-year-old French midfielder Seko Fofana just before halftime.

Fofana had been shown a red card for an off-the-ball incident just before the match was abandoned.

Vieira, City's elite development coach, then led his players off after Fofana was allegedly abused by one of the Rijeka team.

Rijeka were leading the match, played in Novigrad, western Croatia, 1-0, when the incident happened.

"After our first goal, we expected more pressure from City but we remained the dominant team in all departments and had several opportunities to score again," Buketa told Croatia's national news agency Hina.

"They responded with more aggression, which resulted in a red card for them.

"While the first tougher tackle on Dangubic could be classified as reckless, the really violent tackle on Marko Marcius only a minute later was unjustifiable, so the Manchester midfielder was rightly sent off.

"What ensued was something rarely seen, even in friendly games.

"The Manchester coach, Patrick Vieira, entered the pitch, discussed something with the referee and then, to the utter surprise of the packed stadium, withdrew his team from the pitch. The reasons are known only to him.

"Perhaps he had expected an easier rival, against whom they could easily dominate and easily score, but this wasn't the case against us."


In a statement carried by Hina, the club rejected any racist allegations.

"We strongly reject unfounded racism allegations mentioned in the statement Manchester City has posted on its website and want to stress that Rijeka itself had six players from Nigeria on the team.

"We also want to point out that HNK Rijeka, in cooperation with FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe), has been supporting the campaign against racism for years and we strongly condemn every such incident.

"We are very unpleasantly surprised by the serious and unfounded allegations, which we entirely reject."

In an updated statement on their website (www.mcfc.co.uk) City said the match was abandoned for an "alleged incident of racial abuse."

"Details remain sketchy at this stage, but club representatives in Croatia and Manchester are liaising with officials, match organisers and the Croatian FA to pursue this matter fully."

UEFA, European soccer's governing body, has fined the Croatian FA for racism in the past, most notably at Euro 2012 when the country's fans racially abused Italian Mario Balotelli.

Croatian fans were also cited for displaying far-right flags and symbols at the World Cup in Brazil but were not fined by FIFA, world soccer's governing body.

- Reuters


7 arrests over violence at West Ham

27 October 2016, 18:00

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...