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Arena Khimki protocol investigation concluded

UEFA has concluded its investigation into why the three-step protocol was not initiated after racist incidents were reported in Manchester City FC's game at PFC CSKA Moskva.

UEFA has conducted the investigation requested by UEFA President Michel Platini to understand why the three-step protocol established to deal with incidents of a racist nature was not implemented at last week's UEFA Champions League match between PFC CSKA Moskva and Manchester City FC.

The investigation was conducted separately from the case examined and the decision communicated by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body. It was based on reports from several officials present at the game, video and sound footage, as well as statements from various persons involved in the running of the match. The conclusions clearly established why the three-step protocol was not initiated.

In the 54th minute of the Group D fixture, the Romanian referee Ovidiu Haţegan stopped the game to award a free-kick and give a yellow card to a CSKA player. While play was stopped, the referee was approached by City captain Yaya Touré who complained that home fans were directing racist chants towards him. The referee and the additional assistant referee standing on that side of the field witnessed the inappropriate behaviour of a small number of supporters.

The referee immediately asked the fourth official to request an announcement to be made to the public. The venue director (the UEFA officer in charge of football operations), who had not heard the chanting himself, did not activate the procedure. As the chanting had ceased, the referee decided to resume the game with the free-kick.

The conclusion of the investigation is therefore that the referee had correctly triggered the first step of the procedure by requesting the stadium announcement. The venue director acted inappropriately, though in good faith, so causing the failure in the activation of the first step of the standard procedure, as decided by the referee.

The UEFA venue director at the Arena Khimki has been relieved of his duties.

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