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Man City's Yaya Toure: Alcohol consumption was unintentional

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has said he does not drink alcohol despite admitting he was over the drink-drive limit in court on Monday.

Toure was stopped by police in Dagenham on Nov. 28 and charged with drink-driving the following day. He was fined £54,000 and banned from driving for 18 months when he appeared at Barkingside Magistrates' Court on Monday, court officials said. He had been due to appear in court on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old, who has recently returned to action after having been frozen out of the City squad for the first few months of the season, has now released a statement apologising for the incident.

The Ivorian, who in 2012 declined a bottle of Champagne awarded to him as a man of the match, said he does not drink because of religious beliefs.

He said in a statement: "Over the last two weeks there has been some confusion as to why I was charged with drink driving, as it is well known that I am a Muslim and do not drink.

"I have always refused alcohol. 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.

"The matter has now been resolved in court on Monday. As I was above the permitted limit when tested on the night, I decided not to challenge the charge.

"However, it was important to me that I told the court that I had not intentionally consumed alcohol. The judge in his sentencing remarks accepted that I had not been intentionally drinking.

"Drink driving is a serious crime and even though I was not intentionally consuming alcohol I accept the ban and fine and I would like to apologise for this situation.

"I would also like to thank my family, the management and staff at Manchester City, my legal team and the fans for the support they have given me during this difficult time."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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