CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky refused to apologise to racial abuse victim Yaya Toure ahead of his side’s latest Champions League clash with Manchester City.
City midfielder Toure was subjected to monkey chants by a section of CSKA supporters when the two clubs met in the Russian capital a fortnight ago.
UEFA has since ordered CSKA to play their next home match in the competition at a partially closed stadium but, while the club are not appealing, they appear to be accepting their punishment grudgingly.
Before being found guilty by European football’s governing body, CSKA vehemently denied any monkey chanting took place and, even now, they continue to insist the issue has been exaggerated.
Slutsky was repeatedly asked questions about the matter at his to press conference preview the return Group D match between the two clubs at the Etihad Stadium.
A club official tried unsuccessfully to steer the subject matter away from racism before Slutsky finally addressed it.
Slutsky said: “The club is categorically against racism.
“As for the match, we did not hear any racial slurs, so it is difficult to comment.
“We think the situation has been exaggerated and there was an over-reaction.”
When asked if the club would apologise to Toure, Slutsky said: “I think we have discussed this matter enough already.”
Defender Sergei Ignashevich did express regret, but only after sympathising with the CSKA fans who will not be able to attend the Bayern Munich game on November 27 because of the UEFA sanction.
He said: “We are sorry that some of our fans won’t be at this game but at the moment we are thinking about the game (against City).”
But when asked further he said: “We are sorry that such an unpleasant incident took place.”
Media director Sergei Aksenov interrupted a question of whether the club were concerned about a repeat of such behaviour at Eastlands.
“Let us wait for them to repeat it and then feel sorry for that,” he said.
Toure – who suggested players could boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia over racism issues – himself wants City fans to offer CSKA a warm welcome.
The Ivory Coast international tweeted: “Tomorrow I want fans to show our guests how welcoming citizens are. Lets show the world why our sky is blue i know i can count on u.”
City manager Manuel Pellegrini hopes Russian supporters will learn from the punishment handed to CSKA.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Chilean said: “The fans of CSKA made an important mistake.
“The club, I don’t know why they denied it 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 and it will be an example for Russian fans because they have a World Cup in their country.”