Yaya Toure has apologised for an ‘inappropriate joke’ which resulted in him being dropped from this weekend’s Soccer Aid charity game.
It was reported on Friday night that the 37-year-old was asked to leave the team hotel after posting content on a group message chat which offended fellow squad members.
The former Manchester City star bragged in a WhatsApp group he could get 19 women to their five-star hotel in Cheshire and also allegedly posted a porn video of a naked woman in a bath in the chat on Thursday night.
Toure has admitted his mistake and regrets the negative publicity which has deflected from Sunday’s fundraising game for children’s charity Unicef at Old Trafford.
‘I would like to apologise to everyone involved in SoccerAid for an inappropriate joke I deeply regret,’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘It was meant as a joke however I lacked thorough consideration for the feelings of other participants.
‘That being said I deleted the jokes within minutes and I immediately apologised to all inside the group.
‘We gather for a good cause and this deviates the focus of the game which is to bring everyone together to help children around the world.
‘Without being prompted, Yaya posted a video of a naked woman in a bath. She was acting in a lewd manner and it was highly inappropriate.
‘He went on to say he could get 19 women like the one in the video to come to the hotel to the pleasure of those playing the match.’
Toure added: ‘It’s sad to see an inappropriate joke I made attract the attention which should be fully devoted to the beauty of the charity game.
‘Regardless of the circumstances, I want to take full responsibility. I am a grown man who should not be engaged in such jokes.
‘I am very sorry for my mistake and I wish everyone all the best with Soccer Aid on Sunday in raising awareness and funds for important causes.’
A spokesman for SoccerAid said: ‘Inappropriate content was shared in a private group text. The message was quickly deleted and a full apology was made to all.
‘Soccer Aid for Unicef has discussed the above with the individual involved and he has decided to no longer continue to participate in this year’s event.
‘While it was an error of judgment, it was felt that the behaviour didn’t align with the values of the event and its cause, and it was the right thing for him to step back from this year’s match.’
SoccerAid is played every year and sees an England XI side and World XI team – both made up of ex-players and celebrities – face off and raise money for charity.
The event will be returning to Old Trafford after the 2019 edition was held at Stamford Bridge in London. The match will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.