The former Manchester City player Yaya Touré has been dropped from playing in Unicef’s annual charity football match after reportedly posting a pornographic video in a WhatsApp group with other players and offering to hire sex workers for them.
Touré will no longer take part in the event after complaints were made about messages he sent to a group with fellow players in the children’s charity event. He reportedly posted a video showing a naked woman in a bath and offered to hire 19 sex workers for his teammates.
Sources told the Sun, which first reported the news, that a string of complaints were made about Touré to Soccer Aid, Unicef’s annual charity football game between former stars, and he faced criticism at a hotel on Friday morning during a breakfast with other players before the game on Sunday.
“Inappropriate content was shared in a private group text,” a spokesman for Soccer Aid said. “The message was quickly deleted and a full apology was made to all. Soccer Aid for Unicef has discussed the above with the individual involved and he has decided to no longer continue to participate in this year’s event.
“While it was an error of judgment, it was felt that the behaviour didn’t align with the values of the event and its cause, and it was the right thing for him to step back from this year’s match.”
Touré tweeted on Saturday: “I would like to apologise to everyone involved in Soccer Aid for an inappropriate joke I deeply regret. It was meant as a joke, however, I lacked thorough consideration for the feelings of all the other participants.
“That being said I deleted the jokes within minutes and I immediately apologised to all inside the group.”
In what appeared to be a slight towards the media for reporting his remarks, the former Ivory Coast international said he regretted that his “inappropriate joke” had detracted attention from the charity game in aid of children.
“Regardless of the circumstances, I want to take full responsibility. I am a grown man who should not be engaged in such jokes,” he said.