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Croatian club call Manchester City’s racism claim ‘baseless’

Manchester City v SL Benfica UEFA Youth League Quarter Final

HYDE, ENGLAND - MARCH 18: Seko Fofana of Manchester City in action during the UEFA Youth League Quarter Final match between Manchester City v SL Benfica at Ewen Fields on March 18, 2014 in Hyde, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Croatian club HNK Rijeka have responded to Manchester City’s claim that 19-year-old Seko Fofana was racially abused in yesterday’s U-21 match by calling the accusations ‘baseless’.

In the 44th minute of the contest Fofana (pictured) was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident, after which the entire City squad quit the match claiming an action against the Croatian Football Association will be forthcoming.

RELATED: Racial incident against City’s Fofana

Now, Rijeka have come forward to say they “clearly and unequivocally reject” City’s allegation and that coach Patrick Vieira’s decision to take his side off was “illogical”. The club added:

"[A]ny possibility that the players at the match against Manchester City participated in assaulting the rival players on racial, religious or ethnic grounds.... We are surprised by the unpleasantly harsh and baseless accusations of which we are accused and that we completely reject.”

City have yet to issue a complaint in the aforementioned action and will only do so after speaking with Vieira, Fofana, officials, match organizers and the Croatian Football Association to pursue the matter further.

Fofana, known by City for “explosive pace and an eye for long-range strikes,” has yet to make a first-team appearance.

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