Yaya Toure Claims Manchester City Prevented Him Seeing His Dying Brother

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City reacts after sustaining an injury during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Yaya Toure has suggested Manchester City stopped him from visiting his brother Ibrahim, who lost his battle with cancer last week.

The midfield juggernaut, who is currently on World Cup duty with the Ivory Coast, spoke honestly to newspaper France Football, as reported via Yahoo! Eurosport

At the end of the season, I wanted to stay for four or five days with my brother before I flew to prepare for the World Cup with Ivory Coast, except that City did not want to give me a few days.

I went to celebrate the title championship in Abu Dhabi while my brother was in his sickbed. By fortune, Kolo was at his bedside. After that I blame myself for not insisting and for not leading them to respect me.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City competes with Mohamed Diame of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Manchester, England.
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Yaya admits he "had been suffering for a few months" during the run-in to City's Premier League title win, saying the mental strain took its toll on his body and calling the last four months some of "the hardest" in his life.

Both Yaya and his brother Kolo opted to stay at the World Cup after news of Ibrahim's passing, reported by BBC Sport. Yaya said the pair "listened" to their father's advice when making the decision, but admits "this feels awful," per Yahoo! Eurosport.

The City midfielder previously berated the club for not publicly wishing him a happy birthday. His latest claims are obviously far more significant, but Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News indicated it would be a surprise for the Etihad club to overlook the needs of their star:

As noted in Paul Handler of the Manchester Evening News' report, it is perhaps key that "Toure did not specifically ask for compassionate leave."

Yaya played a key role in City's second title win in three years. The 31-year-old scored 20 goals and provided nine assists in 35 appearances for Manuel Pellegrini's team, per WhoScored.com. He has developed into an indispensable leader for the Sky Blues, who rely on his ambitious, driving runs from deep and physical presence in the middle.

The former Barcelona midfielder's displays at the World Cup have understandably been somewhat reserved. He is a key component of Ivory Coast's midfield, but he is yet to exert great influence on the Brazilian tournament. With a huge mental and physical challenge ahead, it is perhaps beneficial the Toure brothers have each other in South America.

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 14: Yaya Toure of the Ivory Coast reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match  between the Ivory Coast and Japan at Arena Pernambuco on June 14, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Ivory Coast need a draw in Tuesday's match with Greece to ensure their qualification through to the knockout stages. It is unclear how much of a role both Yaya and Kolo will have in the match, but their presence in Brazil suggests we can expect coach Sabri Lamouchi to pick his team as normal.

Vincent Kompany, Yaya's club captain, led the messages of support for the Toure family at this difficult time:

Yaya's next professional challenge starts right away but progress at the World Cup won't come close to helping the midfielder grieve. It is likely to be a reflective summer after their tournament, one where Yaya and Kolo can spend time getting to grips with their loss.