Football

Published: Tuesday June 24, 2014 MYT 8:27:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday June 24, 2014 MYT 8:27:50 PM

Yaya claims City denied him time to see dying brother

Manchester City's Yaya Toure celebrates his goal against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England March 25, 2014.   REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files

Manchester City's Yaya Toure celebrates his goal against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England March 25, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure hit out at Manchester City, claiming his club denied him compassionate leave at the end of the Premier League season to be with his brother, who was dying of cancer.

Ibrahim Toure died of the disease aged just 28 in Manchester last Thursday, while his brothers Yaya and Kolo were at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

"At the end of the season, I wanted to stay four or five days with my brother before flying to prepare the World Cup with Ivory Coast," Yaya Toure wrote in a column in France Football magazine.

"But City did not wish to grant me those few days. I went to celebrate the title in Abu Dhabi while my brother was dying in his bed.

"Fortunately, Kolo was at his bedside. Afterwards, I regretted that I had not insisted. However, (City) executives knew that I was suffering."

The Premier League champions said they had no comment to make on the 31-year-old's remarks.

Toure has had a complicated relationship with City, his agent saying last month that the player could leave the club over a birthday snub.

City, however, released a video in which Toure was shown being presented with a birthday cake on the plane taking the team to Abu Dhabi.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Additional reporting by Josh Reich; Editing by John O'Brien)

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