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Man City Star Yaya Toure Would Have More Awards If He Was White, Says Agent

Dmitri Seluk claims Toure does not get the praise he deserves, because he is black.

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The agent of Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has claimed that the player’s skin colour has prevented him from winning football’s top individual awards.

Toure placed third in the PFA and FWA Footballer of the Year awards, which were both won by Luis Suarez, with Eden Hazard and Steven Gerrard taking second spot in the respective votes.

Gerrard scored 13 goals and provided 13 assists in 34 Premier League games last season, while Toure netted 20 times and made nine assists in 35 top-flight outings.

Toure was shortlisted for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or, but he finished 12th in vote in October, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi,Franck Ribery, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar, Andres Iniesta, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Gareth Bale, Andrea Pirlo and Radamel Falcao.

Agent Dmitri Seluk believes that Toure would have finished higher than 12th if he was white.

Seluk told The Times: “If he was white, 100 per cent he would have won one of these top awards.

“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.

“Yaya has three times in a row won the African Player of the Year, but it is different with the other awards.”

Seluk added: “He is a bit upset about the situation. Messi is the top player in the history of football and I respect Ronaldo and Ribery a lot.

“Yaya respects all these players. But for an African in these awards it is hard. FIFA needs to change something.”

Liberia striker George Weah is the only African to win the World Player of the Year award, back in 1995.

The last black footballer to win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year was Thierry Henry, who won back-to-back awards in 2003 and 2004.

England internationals Les Ferdinand and Jamacia-born John Barnes won the award in1996 and 1988 respectively.

Ireland defender Paul McGrath, whose father was Nigerian, is the only other previous black winner, from 1993.

The PFA Players’ Player of the Year award has been running since the 1973–74 season.


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