Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has apologised for an “inappropriate joke” that forced him to quit yesterday’s Soccer Aid match.
The 37-year-old was due to play for the World XI team in a charity game at Old Trafford, but no longer took part following content he shared on a group chat with his team-mates. The posts on WhatsApp sparked a string of complaints from his fellow squad members, who included several female players and celebrities.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Toure said he is a “grown man who should not be engaged in such jokes” and he regretted the negative publicity which had deflected from the fundraising game for UNICEF.
“I would like to apologise to everyone involved in Soccer Aid for an inappropriate joke I deeply regret,” he wrote. “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.”
This year’s Soccer Aid match was played behind closed doors for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The England XI team were being managed by Wayne Rooney and Sam Allardyce, while the World XI were coached by Harry Redknapp and Bryan Robson.