Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure pleaded guilty to drink-driving and has apologised to the club’s supporters despite insisting he did not intentionally consume alcohol.
The 33-year-old, a practising Muslim, was fined £54,000 and banned from driving for 18 months after admitting the charge at Barkingside Magistrates Court, having been arrested on 28 November while more than two times the legal limit.
Toure, who has only made four Premier League appearances for City this season after his agent Dmitri Seluk criticised manager Pep Guardiola, told the court he was drinking diet coke from a jug at a party without realising it was laced with brandy.
"I have always refused alcohol,” said Toure. “Anyone who knows me or follows football will have seen me refuse champagne for man-of-the-match performances because of my commitment to my religion.
“As I was above the permitted limit when tested, I decided not to challenge the charge.
“The judge in his sentencing remarks accepted that I had not been intentionally drinking. Even though I was not intentionally consuming alcohol I accept the ban and fine and I would like to apologise.”
City host Watford tonight as they bid to get their Premier League title charge back on track after Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Leicester.