African legend Yaya Toure, who pulled out of a charity match on the weekend after making an inappropriate joke in a WhatsApp group, has since explained his decision.
The 37-year-old Manchester City legend was supposed to take part in the UNICEF Soccer Aid game at Old Trafford on Sunday, but removed himself from the event after his actions in a WhatsApp group.
Ahead of the match, it is understood that Toure made an inappropriate joke in the group, for which he has since apologised via a statement released on Twitter.
"I would like to apologise to everyone involved in Soccer Aid for an inappropriate joke I deeply regret," he said.
"It was meant as a joke, however I lacked thorough consideration for the feelings of other participants. That being said, I deleted the jokes within minutes and I immediately apologised to all inside the group.
"We gather for a good cause and this deviates the focus of the game, which is to bring everyone together to help children around the world.
"It's sad to see an inappropriate joke I made attract the attention which should be fully devoted to the beauty of the charity game.
"Regardless of the circumstances, I want to take full responsibility. I am a grown man who should not be engaged in such jokes."
A spokesperson for UNICEF also addressed the matter.
"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," a statement from the organisation read.
"While it was an error of judgement, 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."
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