Russian Translators to Monitor Manchester City vs. CSKA Moscow Match for Racism

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2013

KHIMKI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 23: Aleksei Berezutski (L) of PFC CSKA Moscow in action against Yaya Toure of Manchester City FC during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between PFC CSKA Moscow and Manchester City FC at the Arena Khimki Stadium on October 23, 2013 in Khimki, Russia.  (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)
Epsilon/Getty Images

Manchester City’s Champions League fixture with CSKA Moscow will be keenly monitored by Russian translators specifically deployed to determine whether any racist chants take place.

As reported by Mike Keegan of the Manchester Evening News, the away end will be intensely examined by staff:

About 800 CSKA supporters are expected to make the trip to Manchester and the M.E.N. has learned a team of interpreters will be keeping their eyes and ears on them.

City’s last fixture with the Russian outfit was marred by audible monkey chants, later condemned by Yaya Toure who called upon UEFA to take action, per James Dickenson of the Express.

The European governing body did just that, ordering a partial stadium closure during the club’s next Champions League tie at the Arena Khimki, per BBC Sport.

CSKA Moscow manager Leonid Slutsky claimed reaction to Toure’s claim was overzealous, as confirmed in ESPN’s report:

We have black players and we give them support. We did not hear any racist chants [so] it is difficult to comment.

The club is categorically against racism but we think the situation has been very exaggerated and there was an overreaction. We have received our punishment -- it was up to UEFA to impose it.

Such a reaction confused City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who says CSKA were rightly punished for the behaviour of fans, per Richard Jolly's ESPN article:

The fans of CSKA made an important mistake.

I don’t know why the club denied at the beginning or what their reaction is now but UEFA acted and gave them the punishment they deserve. I hope we can leave it in the past.

City officials may be fearing backlash from the travelling support, who have already reportedly caused trouble on their way to England.

As noted in Jolly’s report, British airliner easyJet were forced to ground a plane after an alcohol-related incident:

easyJet can confirm that flight EZY1872 flying from Moscow Domodedovo to Manchester on November 3 diverted to Copenhagen airport due to the disruptive behaviour of a passenger on board. One passenger was immediately offloaded on arrival.

Unfortunately, prior to take off, it was necessary for the captain to take the decision to offload a further six passengers.

Manchester City captured a 2-1 victory in the opening fixture between the two teams, a match that was largely even throughout.

Former Manchester United winger Zoran Tosic gave the Russians an early lead, but Sergio Aguero's smart brace lofted Pellegrini's men to second in Group D, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich, per WhoScored.

A repeat result would see City all but end CSKA's chances of qualifying for the knockout stages, pretty much confirming a long-awaited ascension to the Round of 16 for the mega-rich club.

Pep Guardiola's Bayern are expected to overcome Viktoria Plzen in their next match, suggesting City must notch up another three points to keep on the tail of last year's Champions League winners.