Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has confirmed that he has accepted his charge for drink-driving, but insists he did not intentionally consume alcohol.
The 33-year-old was charged with the offence after he was stopped and tested by police while driving in Dagenham, London.
It is reported that the former Barcelona player has been given an 18-month driving ban.
Toure, who appeared at Barkingside Magistrates on Monday, has stressed that he would never knowingly drink due to his religious beliefs – an argument he says the judge has accepted.
He said in a statement: “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.
“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. I would also like to thank my family, the management and staff at Manchester City, my legal team and the fans for the support they have given me during this difficult time.”
City manager Pep Guardiola made it clear last week that Toure’s place in the squad would not be under threat as he had explained situation to the club.
“I spoke with him about the issue, he gave me his reasons,” Guardiola said. “I trust him.
“So no, I take decisions based on what I see on the pitch and his behaviour. I said this before I played him against Crystal Palace.
“He is part of the team because he is training good and he is fit.”
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