On Monday Yaya Touré posted his first tweet on Twitter since having previously deactivated his account for five months to focus on the World Cup. At 6pm Toure tweeted: 'Great to be back on twitter after a good win yesterday. Now my focus is on the next game... Happy Monday everyone!!'
Unfortunately not all welcomed Touré’s return to Twitter and the Ivory Coast international suffered racial abuse on the site within a few hours of his return to the social network platform.
Disgusted by many of the tweets, the anti-discrimination in football group Kick It Out chose to report the racist messages to the police. Kick It Out also publicised their support for Touré on Twitter, tweeting: “We are informing the Police of racist tweets directed @yayatoure earlier this evening and offer him our full support #kickitout”. On Monday night a spokesperson for the group said, “At this stage we have received complaints about two separate tweets of a racist nature aimed at Yaya Touré and now we are informing the police.”
Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they are investigating the matter. A police statement read, “GMP can confirm we have received a number of complaints regarding racist tweets directed at Manchester City player Yaya Touré on Monday 3 October 2014. Officers are currently investigating.”
Touré has spoken out about the abuse he has received and also shown resilience. Touré has described the racist comments as a “disgrace” and urged that more is done to stop racist behaviour, which unfortunately is commonplace in football. “We need to do something to try to tell people those kinds of behaviour have to stop. I want those people to understand what they’re doing is wrong. […] To have such aggression in sport, I can’t understand that. That’s why I’ve been trying to fight it,” said Touré. The Manchester City player continued, “Football doesn’t have a colour. We’re just people from all over the world trying to enjoy the game. I never see this in rugby, I never see that in tennis or anything else, I don’t know where it’s coming from.”
On Monday evening Touré favourited a tweet from one City fan who offered her support to the player, posting: “@YayaToure Welcome back to the land of the tweetiverse. Ignore the nasty jealous ones. There are far more out here that (heart) you. #MCFC”. The following day he also posted on his own account, writing: “Thanks for all the welcome back tweets and support. Shame about ignorant minority. #StillFocused”.
Touré is no stranger to racist abuse. Last season he was the victim of racist chanting during a Manchester City Champions League game at CSKA Moscow. Following the game he said, “I'm not just disappointed, I'm furious […] 'It was unbelievable and very sad.'
Touré has said that the Twitter abuse has not hurt him, “because I've been attacked like that for many years.” But he has insisted that, “I will never stop telling [the racists] they are wrong and have to change."