Former Manchester City player Yaya Toure speaks out after reports emerged that he was offering to hire sex workers for this year’s Soccer Aid team.
The 37 year old took to a WhatsApp group, claiming that he could bring 19 females to the side’s five-star hotel which is based in Cheshire.
He also thought it was acceptable to post a pornographic video showing a naked woman in a bath, and because of his actions, he has been axed from this weekend’s much anticipated charity game, and has since tweeted an apology.
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“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 all the other participants.
“That being said I deleted the jokes within minutes and I immediately apologised to all inside the group.”
Toure said he wanted to “take full responsibility” for his mistake.
“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,” he wrote.
“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 wish everyone all the best with Soccer Aid on Sunday in raising awareness and funds for important causes.”
Toure sparked a string of complaints from his appalled team-mates, some of which are female players as well as celebrities.
They urged Soccer Aid and ITV bosses to get rid of the ex-Premier League player from participating in the event which supports children charity Unicef.
Toure, who has three children and wife Gina, ended up deleting the messages and issued an apology but got the boot from Sunday’s game.
An insider said: “Everyone at Soccer Aid was disgusted by Yaya’s messages.
“There is a WhatsApp group for his team, the World XI, and everyone had been chatting in it.
“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.
“It was absolutely disgraceful and caused a huge amount of distress to some of the people who received the messages.
“Soccer Aid is a charity game and is raising money for children.
“So to have one of the players, especially one who is supposed to be a professional, making such lewd and gross suggestions is despicable.”
Midfielder Yaya, who left Manchester City in 2018, sent the X-rated messages on Thursday night.
The WhatsApp group was made up of team-mates from his World XI side – including Patrice Evra and female players Julie Fleeting, Lianne Sanderson and Chelcee Grimes.
Players and coaches from their England XI opponents were also in the group.
The insider added: “The messages turned the stomachs of the women, along with the men.
“The atmosphere among both teams had been so good and spirits were high. These messages have really soured the mood.
“Julie, Lianne and Chelcee made their feelings clear about how wrong they thought his messages were. They called for Toure to be taken off the team.”
After bosses at Unicef and ITV were notified of the content, Yaya was told to delete them.
He was then forced to apologise to everyone who received the messages and was warned his place in the squad was in jeopardy.
However, feelings were running high during breakfast at the hotel this morning, with many feeling he should get the boot.
A source explained: “Within a few minutes his messages had been deleted and Yaya got a mouthful from the bosses.
“He repeatedly apologised to them and also said he was sincerely sorry for what he had posted to those in the group.
“Not everyone was impressed however and it’s hard to move on from. This wasn’t just banter.
“To many it felt misogynistic and wrong – and an apology just won’t cut it.
“At breakfast on Friday morning it was all anyone could talk about.
“There was no laughter and no one thought it was funny in the slightest.
“Everyone signed up to Soccer Aid is there with one goal – to raise money for Unicef. This has cast a shadow over the event.”
Toure was then told this afternoon it was the right thing for him “to step back”.
A spokesman for Soccer Aid last night told The Sun: “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.”
A second insider working on the charity match, which is in its 14th year, insisted that Yaya’s boasts would never have come to fruition – because of Covid-19.
They said: “There are strict social distancing rules in place at the hotel the teams are staying at so Yaya’s suggestion to his team-mates could never have come to pass.
“The hotel is blocked off solely for the teams and all those working on the game and there are rules in place. People cannot just come and go.
“Yaya acted incredibly foolishly and is now paying the price for his stupidity.”
Fans reacted before and after Yaya Toure speaks out after offering to hire sex workers for the Soccer Aid team…
Not getting that birthday cake made him change
— Rinor (@RinorV2) September 4, 2020
Trying to justify himself pic.twitter.com/7SJcewYVTa
— Carlos (@CarIosOntiveros) September 4, 2020
Ohhhhh that’s what he meant by ‘cake’.
— FPL Tatts (@Tatts_J) September 4, 2020
His reasoning: pic.twitter.com/x9XD26f13V
— ً (@cd1st_) September 4, 2020
Yaya just retire it’s getting embarrassing now
— Andreas (@JTyoung26) September 4, 2020
He was just trying to help.
— Baby Chimichanga (@Mr_Yika) September 4, 2020
David James being one of Yaya Toure’s snitches doesn’t surprise me
— Kam #8? (@Culturecams) September 4, 2020
Yaya toure to soccer aid after trying to help the lads out with a bit of slap and tickle ?? https://t.co/cQAJ4GIhhf
— jack (@caddyshack0909) September 5, 2020
So Yaya Toure offered to get his soccer aid team mates some hoes ….. salute that man pic.twitter.com/BdEcWucl2i
— Mr TakeNote (@ThatsMeFlawless) September 4, 2020