Etihad Stadium centre back not happy.
Kolo Touré, who was stripped of the captaincy at Manchester City at the start of last season, says he is no longer a regular in the first team because manager Roberto Mancini holds a grudge against him.
“I feel that it’s going to be more and more difficult for us, the Africans,” said Touré, who will be away from his club when the next African Nations Cup tournament takes place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon from Jan 21 to Feb 12.
“To compete in the ANC, it’s catastrophic. coaches no longer want to sign players because of it. I am convinced that, if I am not playing, it’s not only for footballing reasons.
“If it was only about the game, I’d be playing every week. I am the victim of that, and it has got to be said.
“When I was in Angola for the ANC in 2010, the club hired a plane so that I could get back as quickly as possible for a match against [Manchester] United. I couldn’t get back in time and we lost. I believe that the club hasn’t got past that, and I’m paying for it now. African players are the victims of discrimination.”
He then gave a caustic assessment of 20 year-old Savic, who joined City from Partizan Belgrade for £6 million last summer to provide extra defensive options. “When you look at the performance of Savic against QPR – excuse me, I’m relaxed, I know my qualities, I’ve got nothing to prove here in England, “ said Touré.
“Look, I was the captain here. so was Tévez and he is no longer – who’d have thought that would happen?”
SOURCE: Daily Telegraph
The Ivory Coast defender convieniently forgets that the biggest reason that the former Arsenal centre back is not a regular in Roberto Mancini’s first team plans arises from Kolo’s failed drug test and the six month ban that resulted from that indiscretion.
Also the assertion that players who take part in African Nations Cup action are victimised by Premier League boss’s holds less water when you consider Toure’s own brother Yaya has little or no problem being selected week in, week out by the Man City boss.
However the issue of African Nations Cup involvement is an issue worth discussing. Clearly the fact that the tournament takes place slap bang in the middle of the European season is going to leave manager’s having to make contingency plans but what else can they do?
In an ideal world the African Nations Cup Finals could take place in the summers that are not already reserved for World Cup and European Championship tournaments. Clearly then the issue of playing in the peak heat of the summer months may be a factor that prevents such a change but then we are due to have a World Cup in Qatar in the summer of 2022, although we all know that this will be moved to the winter (that’s a whole other headache to discuss at another juncture).
None of this however excuses Toure’s outspoken, however accurate, opinions of a team-mate. It is that comment that may well land the 30 year old defender in cold water with the Etihad Stadium club.