FIFA Doesn’t Care About Racism In Football, Says Toure

FIFA Bans Ex-Zambian Football Chief Bwalya Over Bribery Allegations
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Yaya Toure says FIFA is not doing enough to stamp out racism and that England should have walked off the pitch in the face of monkey chants during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria.

The 36-year-old former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder made the comments to AFP after Qingdao Huanghai clinched promotion to the Chinese Super League at the weekend.

England’s 6-0 victory in Sofia earlier this month was marred by racist chants and Nazi salutes from a section of Bulgarian fans.

The game was halted twice during the first half but England players opted to complete the match instead of walking off the pitch.

“This is a shame, why are you playing for England?” Toure, who has been outspoken on football’s racism problem, said of the decision.

“They are always talking, ‘Blah, blah, blah’, and what? Nothing changes.”

Turning his real fire on football’s decision-makers, the four-time African player of the year said: “People from FIFA don’t care anyway because we’ve been talking about this, but it’s still continuing.

“I don’t want to say that I’m not concerned, I’m concerned,” said the former Ivory Coast international.

Raheem Sterling, the England and Manchester City forward, has been widely praised for playing a prominent role in calling out the racists at home and abroad.

But Toure, his former team-mate at City, said that was “not good enough”.

Toure, whose trophy haul includes three Premier League titles with City and a UEFA Champions League with Barcelona, believes it is time the players took more decisive action.

“They have to be serious about it, players need to make serious moves about it otherwise they (the racists) will continue to do that,” he said.

“They have to get the players out of the field.”

FIFA did not immediately reply to an AFP request for comment.

 ‘They respect nobody’ 

Toure was speaking after he played a pivotal role for Qingdao in a 2-0 win on Saturday at Shanghai Shenxin, attended by just a few hundred spectators.

Victory ensured promotion to the top-tier Chinese Super League for the team that Toure joined in July, but he is unlikely to make the move up with them next year.

“I think I’ll finish in December or January, then go, have another challenge,” he said, vowing to play on until he is 40.

“People are thinking that I’m done, but I’m not done yet,” he said.

Toure has enjoyed his spell in Chinese football and stressed that he has never experienced any form of discrimination in the country.

“It’s been a nice experience because I’ve seen people with a different mentality from Europe — the way to play football, the way they feel and their behaviour on the field,” he said.

“When I play in the stadiums, nobody boos me because I’m black, it’s a different culture, they respect.

“In Europe, they respect nobody.”

AFP

Salah Retains BBC African Footballer Of The Year Award

Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah has capped a sparkling 2018 for club and country by winning the prestigious BBC African Footballer of the Year Award for the second time in a row.

“It’s a great feeling to win again. I’m happy and I would like to win it also next year!” said Salah.

The 26-year-old, who beat Medhi Benatia, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sadio Mane and Thomas Partey to the award, is just the second player after Jay-Jay Okocha to win it two years running.

Yaya Toure is the only other player to have twice won the award in its current form while Nwankwo Kanu won it twice when it was a broader African Sports Personality award.

READ ALSO: Klopp Hails Man Utd Quality Ahead Of Liverpool Clash

Salah scored 44 goals in 52 games for Liverpool last season, his first on Merseyside after joining them from Roma, and helped them to reach the Champions League final.

His club form has continued this season with his winner against Napoli on Tuesday that saw the Reds into the Champions League last 16 taking his tally to 13.

“There have been many good moments in 2018,” he added.

“I’m scoring goals and helping the team to get the points to be top of the league. That’s always a great feeling.”

Salah also scored twice for Egypt at the World Cup in Russia.

Earlier in 2018, Salah won the English double — the Players’ Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year.

Salah also won the 2017 CAF Player of the Year and is one of 10 nominees for the 2018 award which will be announced in January.

Former Manchester City Midfielder Yaya Toure Joins Olympiakos

Yaya Toure Makes U-turn, Returns To International Duty
Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure warms up ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Manchester City and Napoli at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on October 17, 2017. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Former Manchester City and Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure rejoined Olympiakos on Sunday, 12 years after making his mark in Europe with the Greek Super League club.

The 35-year-old Ivorian international played for the Piraeus-based side during the 2005-2006 season, scoring three goals in 20 matches.

He then joined Monaco before moving to Barcelona between 2007 and 2010. After Gulf-based owners injected huge funds into Manchester City, Toure was one of the key signings that helped the club win three Premier League titles in seven seasons.

He played 230 matches for City, scoring 59 goals but was released at the end of last season after another title triumph, although he had grown frustrated with his lack of playing opportunities in northwest England.

Toure has also played for Metalurh Donetsk in Ukraine (2003-2005) and Belgian club Beveren (2001-2003).

He has made 101 international appearances and scored 19 goals.

Guardiola Plans ‘Beautiful Farewell’ For Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure Makes U-turn, Returns To International Duty
Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure warms up ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Manchester City and Napoli at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on October 17, 2017. PHOTO: Oli SCARFF / AFP

Pep Guardiola has confirmed long-serving midfielder Yaya Toure will leave Manchester City next month after eight successful seasons with the Premier League champions.

The Ivory Coast international turns 35 on the last day of the current campaign and has been a key part of City’s rise to prominence under their wealthy Abu Dhabi owners.

Toure is out of contract at the end of the season and, as had been widely expected, he will not be offered a new deal by Guardiola.

The City manager was adamant, however, that Toure will receive a memorable send-off when the club end their home campaign against Brighton next week, an indication of his contribution to the cause over nearly a decade.

Even though he has found his opportunities scaled down this season, having been limited to nine appearances off the bench in the Blues’ title-winning campaign, Toure will still qualify for his third Premier League winner’s medal.

“He will not stay after this season,” Guardiola said on Friday. “The Brighton game we will give him what he deserves. One of the most beautiful farewells a player can receive.

“We will be focused on winning the game against Brighton for Yaya, and we are going to try to do it for him.”

Toure’s spell with City, since signing from Barcelona for £24 million ($32 million, 27 million euros) in July 2010, has seen him win with three League Cups and an FA Cup, in addition to his trio of Premier League crowns.

But Guardiola said his influence extended far beyond simple on-field success.

“We have amazing facilities but the club became what they did because of the players,” he explained.

“Yaya Toure came here when this idea for the club started, and what we are in this moment is thanks to what this guy has done. We cannot forget the period from Roberto Mancini, and especially Manuel Pellegrini.

“Yaya was the key, key, key, key, key, key player. That’s why we are delighted to prepare for Sunday’s game, for our celebration, and after for Yaya.”

Guardiola will finally get his hands on the Premier League trophy following the league game with struggling Huddersfield on Sunday.

England is the third different country in which he has led a club to the league title following successes in Spain and Germany with Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.

But the goal of winning the Champions League proved beyond City this season, although Guardiola insisted he felt no frustration this week when their quarter-final conquerors, Liverpool, reached the final.

“Believe me, I’d like to be in the final of the Champions League, a lot,” said Guardiola.

“But Liverpool deserve to be there and Real Madrid (their opponents in the final).

“It’s not about the different competitions, the Premier League is about consistency.

“In cup games, anything can happen. We lost against Wigan in the FA Cup.”

AFP

Toure Skips Ivory Coast Return For ‘Family Reasons’

Yaya Toure Makes U-turn, Returns To International Duty
FILE PHOTO Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure.          Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester City Midfielder, Yaya Toure, said on Thursday he won’t play for the Ivory Coast during the international break due to “family reasons”.

The 34-year-old will miss Friday’s friendly with Togo and the game against Moldova on Monday in France despite having come out of international retirement last December.

“Sadly, I will not be able to take part in Ivory Coast’s matches during the international week. My family needs me at this moment and I hope the fans will understand,” Toure wrote on Twitter.

“I wish the team the best,” added the 100-times capped star.

On Tuesday, the Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF) said it had “no news” of the whereabouts of four-time African Player of the Year Toure, who did not turn up for training.

The Ivory Coast failed to qualify for the World Cup.

AFP

Yaya Toure Makes U-turn, Returns To Ivory Coast Duty

Yaya Toure Makes U-turn, Returns To International Duty
(Files) Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure warms up ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Manchester City and Napoli at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on October 17, 2017. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has agreed to come out of international retirement, according to the Manchester City star’s agent.

Dimitri Seluk, who represents Toure, said on Tuesday that the 34-year-old is willing to return to Ivory Coast duty if called upon, having last played for his country in September 2016.

“Yaya @YayaToure has decided to return to Ivory Coast national team. He wants to win another trophy with the Elephants of Ivory Coast,” Seluk tweeted.

Toure, who has won over 100 caps, was part of the Ivory Coast side which won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

He has been reduced to a bit-part role in City’s charge towards the Premier League title this season, making only eight appearances in all competitions after signing a one-year contract extension earlier this year.

But Seluk’s tweet suggests he has no imminent thoughts of retiring from football, given Ivory Coast failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup, meaning their next opportunity for silverware will be the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

AFP

Yaya Toure Blasts League Cup Ball

Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure. Oli SCARFF / AFP

English football chiefs on Wednesday defended the ball used in the League Cup after Manchester City’s Yaya Toure said it was worse than the much-maligned Jabulani used in the 2010 World Cup.

City and Championship club Wolves played with the Mitre Delta ball in Tuesday’s League Cup tie at the Etihad Stadium, with the hosts needing a penalty shootout to advance to the quarter-finals after the match finished goalless after 120 minutes.

“I don’t like it, to be honest,” said City and Ivory Coast midfielder Toure. “They can do better than that. It’s too light. Even in my country they can’t use those kind of balls.

“I think they have to be better than that because the ball was too soft. It’s rubbish but that’s fine. The World Cup one (Jabulani) was better than that one.”

Guardiola, whose team play with Nike balls in the Premier League and Adidas balls in the Champions League, lambasted the Mitre Delta, suggesting it was “not a serious ball for a professional game”.

“We play with a different ball. It’s not Nike, Adidas I don’t know, it’s a different brand. It’s unacceptable to play with the ball…. No weight, nothing.

But the English Football League (EFL) released a statement defending the ball and adding it would talk to Guardiola over his complaints.

“The Mitre ball used in this season’s Carabao (League) Cup is of exactly the same technical specification as the balls used in the Sky Bet EFL (English Football League) and Checkatrade Trophy, all of which are tested in accordance with the ‘FIFA Quality Programme for Footballs’ and meet the ‘FIFA Quality Pro’ standard,” the statement said.

“All balls used in the professional game are required to meet this standard. Clearly, preference is a subjective matter, but overall the entertainment provided across last night’s round-four ties would suggest that the ball used is not having a negative impact in the competition.

“We will look to engage with Mr Guardiola and Manchester City to fully understand any concerns in advance of their round-five tie.”

AFP

Toure Refuses China’s Big Offer A Second Time

Yaya Toure, Manchester City, China Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, has rejected a £430,000-a-week offer from China for the second time.

The 33-year-old was the subject of interest from the Chinese Super League last summer as he decided against his transfer.

He gave the same response when he was recently contacted that the offer remained open during the current transfer window.

The future of the Ivorian, whose contract with Manchester City expires in the summer, appeared in doubt, as he was left out of the City squad at the start of the season.

However, he has been a regular for the club since he was recalled in November.

Toure has been free to sign pre-contract agreements with clubs overseas since January 1, but it seems he prefers to play in the Premier League.

Court Bans Yaya Toure From Driving For 18 Months

Yaya Toure, Driving, Barkingside Magistrates' CourtBarkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday banned Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, from driving for 18 months.

The Ivory Coast international, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, said he had not “intentionally consumed alcohol”.

He admitted that he was above the permitted limit and did not challenge the charge preferred against him.

Toure was consequently fined £54,000 as means-tested fine, after which he got banned from driving.

“It is well known that I am a Muslim and do not drink. I have always refused alcohol,” the Ivorian said.

Police had said that the 33-year-old was charged with driving in Dagenham in east London while his alcohol level was above the legal limit.

Mahrez Grabs BBC African Footballer of the Year

Riyad MahrezLeicester midfielder, Riyad Mahrez, has won the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016.

After collating votes from fans across the world, the 25-year-old Algerian was picked over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure.

Mahrez says the honour means a lot to him and described it as one big award for African players.

“It’s always good to receive awards and for African players, it’s a huge honour. To all the fans, thank you very much,” he told BBC.

The player also extended his appreciation his family and Algeria fans whom he dedicated the honour to.

Meanwhile in Bernabéu, Cristiano Ronaldo saw his rival Lionel Messi off to win the 2016 Ballon d’Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo Wins Fourth Ballon d’Or

It is now the fourth time the prolific Portuguese is lifting the prestigious prize after the 2008, 2013 and 2014 honours.

He helped Real Madrid win the Champions League last season before leading Portugal to glory in the France Euro 2016.

Yaya Toure Charged With Drink Driving

Yaya Toure Charged With Drink DrivingManchester City’s returnee midfileder, Yaya Toure has been charged with drink driving, police have confirmed.

Police said the 33-year-old of Macclesfield, Cheshire was driving in Dagenham in east London at the time of the alleged offence.

Police said he was charged on Tuesday with driving while his alcohol level was above the legal limit.

He has been bailed and is due to appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on 13 December.

The midfielder played in Manchester City’s 3-1 defeat at home to Chelsea on Saturday but the club is yet to comment.

Yaya Toure is a nominee for the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016 for the eight time.

Yaya won the award last year and in 2012 so is chasing an unprecedented third triumph, though he faces stiff competition from Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, West Ham’s Andre Ayew, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

EPL: Yaya Toure Returns With Winning Brace

Yaya ToureYaya Toure made a sensational return to Manchester City starting lineup scoring a brace to earn the citizens a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League.

Toure’s moment arrived in the 39th minute as Palace failed to recover from James McArthur giving the ball away on the edge of his box.

Receiving the ball just inside the area, Toure exchanged passes with Nolitio before firing an unstoppable shot past Wayne Hennessy to give City the lead.

Palace later leveled courtesy of a ruthless break away. Zaha, around 30 yards out, fed the ball into substitute Wickham just on the edge of the box.

The winner was a tap-in in the 83rd minute.

It was Toure’s first Premier League game for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.

The Ivory Coast international played 32 times for City last season, but had so far been unable to force his way into Guardiola’s plans.

Toure only got the manager’s nod after his apology at the start of November, for the snipes from his outspoken agent Dmitri Seluk towards Guardiola.

In other matches, Nigeria’s Victor Anichebe scored two goals as Sunderland thrashed Hull City 3-0 at the Stadium of Light.

Elsewhere Watford beat defending champions Leicester City 2-1 while Stoke City lost 1-0 to Bournemouth.

Everton and Swansea City played a 1-1 draw while Southampton and Liverpool played a goalless draw at Saint Mary’s Stadium.

The much anticipated clash between title rivals Manchester United and Arsenal ended in a draw at Old Trafford in the day’s lunchtime kickoff.

Olivier Giroud’s late strike snatched a point for Arsenal after Juan Mata put united ahead in the 68th minute, slotting in from Ander Herrera’s pass.

The Red Devils looked certain for all three points as Arsenal failed to register a shot on target before Giroud stepped off the bench to head past David De Gea on 89 minutes.