MANCHESTER City footballer Yaya Toure has been been fined £54,000 and banned from driving for 18 months following a court hearing in Essex this morning.
The Ivorian was caught by Police in Dagenham last month and tested over twice the legal limit of 35 micrograms.
A devout muslim, Toure released a statement on his personal website and insisted that the consumption was non-intentional.
“Drink-driving is a serious crime and even though I was not intentionally consuming alcohol I accept the ban and fine and I would like to apologise for this situation”, Toure said.
Please see statement: https://t.co/fCDfkBjNqE
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) December 13, 2016
“Over the last two weeks there has been some confusion as to why I was charged with drink driving, as it is well known that I am a Muslim and do not drink.
“I have always refused alcohol. Anyone who knows me or follows football will have seen me refuse champagne for Man of the Match performances because of my commitment to my religion.
“The matter has now been resolved in court on Monday. As I was above the permitted limit when tested on the night, I decided not to challenge the charge. However, it was important to me that I told the court that I had not intentionally consumed alcohol. The judge in his sentencing remarks accepted that I had not been intentionally drinking.”
The news comes as a knock for the City man who has recently regained his place in Pep Guardiola’s side after being exiled for much of the season due to comments made by his agent.
Speaking during his press conference this afternoon ahead of Watford’s visit to the Etihad tomorrow, Guardiola has confirmed that the midfielder will be kept in his squad despite Yaya Toure’s driving ban.
PEP: (Yaya) is ready to play. He is in squad as normal.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 13, 2016
Manchester City are yet to comment on the hearing.