Yaya Toure was denied the chance to spend time with his dying brother in hospital because Manchester City would not give him time off from the club’s post-season celebration tour to Abu Dhabi, the Ivory Coast midfielder has claimed.
Ibrahim, Yaya’s younger brother, had been battling cancer and was being treated at specialist hospital The Christie, in Manchester, where he died last Friday.
Both Yaya, and his other brother Kolo Toure, decided to remain at the World Cup in Brazil rather than return to England after the death. But Yaya says he had already tried to spend time with Ibrahim after the end of the Premier League season, only to be refused leave from the tour to Abu Dhabi to celebrate the club’s title win.
Yaya said: “At the end of the season, I wanted to stay for four or five days with my brother before I flew to prepare for the World Cup with Ivory Coast, except that City did not want to grant me a few days.
“I went to celebrate the title championship in Abu Dhabi while my brother was lying in his sickbed. By fortune, Kolo was at his bedside. After that, I blame myself for not insisting and for not making them respect me.
“However, club officials knew very well that I was suffering for a few months as the health of my brother declined. This is the reason I had several injuries at the end of the season, because my head had taken control of my body.
“These last four months have probably been the hardest in my life.”
Manchester City have declined to comment on Toure’s remarks.