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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Jul 12, 2014

'Toure would have won awards if white'

Yaya Toure claims that Manchester City didn't let him visit his dying brother, because they wanted him to celebrate their Premier League win in Abu Dhabi instead

Yaya Toure's agent has told The Times he believes the Ivory Coast midfielder would have won one of football's major individual awards if he was white.

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Dimitri Seluk claimed City skipper Toure was concerned that his skin colour meant he was not getting the level of recognition he felt he deserved.

He said he did not understand how Toure -- who has won the African Footballer of the Year accolade for the past three years -- could not have been in the final three for the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

"If he [Toure] was white, 100 percent he would have won one of these top awards," Seluk told the paper. "I don't want to talk too much about racism or the politics of football, but he does not get the praise he should get."

Toure came third in both English player award votes -- the PFA and Football Writer's ballots -- both of which were won by former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

In April, he said he believed he did not get the recognition he deserved because he was African, and Seluk added: "He is a bit upset about the situation.

"[Lionel] Messi is the top player in the history of football, and I respect [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Franck] Ribery a lot. Yaya respects all these players. But for an African in these awards, it is hard. FIFA needs to change something."

Meanwhile, Seluk said he could not guarantee that Toure would still be with Premier League champions City by the time the transfer window closes.

The midfielder is interesting Paris Saint-Germain, and player and agent will sit down for talks to discuss his future in the next few weeks.

Seluk said: "In football, you never know what happens tomorrow.

"I will see Yaya for a couple of days before he goes to America [on City's preseason tour] when we will talk about things.

"We will see what happens. If an important club like PSG or Real Madrid made a big offer it would be for Manchester City to decide what happens."

Earlier this summer, Toure hit out at City, accusing them of not doing enough to mark his 31st birthday in May.

He also claimed the club had not granted a request for compassionate leave to visit his ill brother before the World Cup -- a claim City have strongly denied. Ibrahim Toure died of cancer at the age of 28 last month.

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