LONDON — Yaya Toure has said Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci and manager Massimiliano Allegri are “a disgrace” for their criticism of forward Moise Kean‘s celebration in the face of racist abuse from Cagliari fans.
Kean celebrated his 85th-minute goal in Tuesday’s Serie A match at Sardegna Arena by standing in front of Cagliari supporters with his arms outstretched, having earlier endured monkey chants from the stands.
He was criticised by teammate Bonucci and manager Allegri after the game and Toure, speaking during a panel discussion at UEFA’s Equal Game conference on Wednesday, said: “For me it’s a disgrace. You can’t do that.
“It was unbelievable. A teammate, a manager saying: ‘You shouldn’t have done that’ to one of your own players.”
Bonucci appeared to shove Kean back towards the centre circle after the goal and following the 2-0 win, was critical of the fans’ chanting and Kean’s reaction to it. Allegri, after condemning “one or two idiots” in the Cagliari crowd, added that Kean should “avoid certain gestures.”
Toure, who has suffered racist abuse at various points during his career, began his address on Wednesday by asking: “I want to know if the Italian FA is here today?”
When it was confirmed that Italian FA representatives were present, he added: “I want to see what the Italian FA is going to do about that. It’s really important because this is what we’re fighting for. I want to see what the response is.
“I have been in football for many years now and to be honest I haven’t seen progress. It’s always the same things. We are in 2019 now and look what happened yesterday?”
Bonucci’s comments were roundly condemned on social media and throughout the football world, with England international Raheem Sterling posting on Instagram: “All you can do now is laugh.”
Sterling was the subject of racist abuse from Montenegro fans during England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Podgorica, which has led to a charge by UEFA.
Later on Wednesday, Bonucci posted an Instagram story which included a picture of himself and Kean with the comment: “Regardless of everything, in any case … No to racism.”
Immediately after the match, Kean posted a picture of his celebration on Instagram, with the caption: “The best way to respond to racism.”
And Marseille striker Mario Balotelli, a teammate of Bonucci’s with Italy, replied to the picture and said: “And tell Bonucci he’s lucky I wasn’t there. Instead of defending you he does this? I’m in shock, I swear. I love you bro.”
A representative of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) stood up to address the panel at Wembley after feeling compelled to respond to the Kean incident.
Clarifying that FIGC president Michele Uva could not make it to the conference due to a federal board meeting in Rome, the spokeswoman said: “Of course we are very sorry for what happened last night. Unfortunately our CEO is not here but we are doing the best to tackle this issue.”
ESPN FC has contacted Juventus, Kean and Bonucci for comment.