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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Pep Guardiola calls Yaya Toure's accusation 'a lie and he knows it'

Ivory Coast midfielder said Manchester City manager might have treated him less favourably because he is African

Manager Pep Guardiola worked with Yaya Toure at Barcelona and Manchester City. Robin Townsend / EPA
Manager Pep Guardiola worked with Yaya Toure at Barcelona and Manchester City. Robin Townsend / EPA

Pep Guardiola has defended himself against Yaya Toure's accusation that he has a problem with African players, calling the Ivorian's claim a "lie".

Toure, who barely featured as Manchester City won the Premier League title under Guardiola last season, hit out at the Catalan in an interview with France Football earlier this week.

The Ivory Coast midfielder suggested the City manager - who was also his boss at Barcelona - might have treated him less favourably because he is African.

Guardiola has now responded to the comments from his former player, telling Catalan television station TV3 in quotes reported by the Spanish media: "It's a lie and he knows it.

"We were together for two years and now this is when he says it. He never told me face to face."

Toure left City this summer after making just one Premier League start during the team's record-breaking charge to the title under Guardiola last term.

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Yaya Toure left Manchester City at the end of the 2017/18 season. Andrew Boyers / Reuters
Yaya Toure left Manchester City at the end of the 2017/18 season. Andrew Boyers / Reuters

Toure, 35, who won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups during his eight years at the Etihad Stadium, said of his former manager in France Football: "I'm not the first person to talk about his different ways of treating people.

"I know some other people at Barca who have also wondered about that. Maybe it's the case that we Africans aren't always treated by certain people in the same way that they treat others.

"When you see that he's had problems with Africans wherever he's been in the past, you wonder.

"When the day comes that he picks a team featuring five Africans - and not naturalised Africans - I promise I will send him a cake!"

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