Premier League

‘He knows I’m not’: Pep Guardiola hits back at Yaya Toure’s racism claims

Toure had raised the issue whether his skin ‘colour’ had contributed to him being little used by Guardiola at City.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hit back at Yaya Toure denying accusations he’s racist in an interview on Spanish television.

“He knows I’m not,” insisted Guardiola when asked about Toure’s previous claims the Spaniard “has problems with Africans”.

“What do you want me to do,” added Guardiola in an interview with TV3. “We were together for two years. (He had) 365 and 365 (days) to tell me (his feelings). It’s not important, it doesn’t matter.”

Ivorian international midfielder Toure had told France Football magazine earlier this week that he had questioned whether his skin “colour” had contributed to him being little used by Guardiola during City’s record breaking run to the Premier League title last season.

“He insists he has no problems with black players, because he is too intelligent to be caught out,” Toure had said. “But when you realise that he has problems with Africans wherever he goes, I ask myself questions.”

Toure, who also played under Guardiola at Barcelona before the Catalan sold him to City, pointed to the treatment his compatriot Wilfried Bony received when Guardiola arrived at City. Bony was quickly loaned out to Stoke City for the 2016/17 season before being sold to Swansea City.

Toure said “Pep brutally got rid of Bony”, although the Ivorian’s record since leaving City – four goals in 25 league appearances – hardly suggests Guardiola was mistaken. During his outburst, Toure said he wanted to smash “the myth” surrounding Guardiola. Toure played 319 matches over eight seasons with the Sky Blues and won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup once. But he was limited to just 17 appearances in all competitions last season.

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