Yaya Toure has accused football’s governing bodies of failing black players in the fight against racism.
In the wake of Raheem Sterling’s move to call out the authorities, Toure – who sat on FIFA’s anti-racism Taskforce until three years ago – insisted it did nothing until a crisis arrived.
The ex-Manchester City star, who famously demanded UEFA action after bring abused in 2013, said: “They sit and they have their coffee, their wine.
“Then they hear a case like Raheem happening and they jump on the phone saying: ‘We have to have a meeting! We have to do something!’
“It shouldn’t work that way. We have to be proactive. Something that is seen. We have to be working before that kind of situation with Raheem is happening.”
Toure was speaking as he received an award for his campaigning from the anti-discrimination body Fare (Football Against Racism in Europe).
Although Sterling had been playing in a UEFA competition when he started for England in Montenegro last week, Toure believes the whole of football must share the blame for failing to protect black players.
In 2016 he warned FIFA that it’s decision to disband the Taskforce on which he’d served for three years would see fans and players suffer.
Yet Fifa secretary general Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura insisted it had “had a specific mandate, which it has fully fulfilled”.
Toure, himself racially abused by CSKA Moscow fans in October 2013, added: “Now, maybe because of what is happening I would probably get the job.
“They’ll probably ask me to come and do this or that. But I’ve been there for how many years. I’ve been there. People only start to see it when something happens.”