By Aiden Cusick
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has hit out at the club for denying him time with his dying brother, by forcing him to appear on their post-season tour of Abu Dhabi.
The Ivorian’s younger sibling, Ibrahim, lost his battle with cancer last week while bothers Yaya and Kolo were representing their country at the World Cup.
And Toure has claimed, in a column penned for France Football, that the club’s end-of-season celebrations prevented him from being at his brother’s bedside.
He wrote: “I confess that I am still very sad. I’m suffering because I feel I have done nothing useful for him the last few weeks.
“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 give me a few days.
“I went to celebrate the title championship in Abu Dhabi while my brother was in his sickbed. By fortune, Kolo was at his bedside.”
But despite his accusations, the Manchester Evening News reports that Toure never actually asked the club for compassionate leave.
He continued: “After that I blame myself for not insisting and for not leading them to respect me.
“However, club officials knew that I had been suffering for a few months seeing the health of my brother decline.
“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.
“I have had sporting success, except that when you get home and you find yourself facing the distress of someone you love, but you do not know how you can help, it’s not good.”
The 31-year-old fell out with the Premier League champions last month after his agent claimed on Twitter that the club did not respect his client in a row over his birthday.
Toure issued a confusing response, initially playing down the comments before confirming they were indeed accurate, saying: “Everything Dimitri said is true. He speaks for me. I will explain after the World Cup.”
City have an excellent track record when it comes to player care, allowing Carlos Tevez a leave of absence following the premature birth of his daughter in 2010.
They also granted Emmanuel Adebayor indefinite leave to come to terms with the tragic coach shooting which took place during that year’s African Cup of Nations, while Pablo Zabaleta was allowed time off in 2011 to be with his father following a car crash.
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