Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has apologised to fans after admitting drink-driving, but insisted he had “not intentionally consumed alcohol”.
The Ivory Coast international said on Tuesday he had admitted the charge at a Monday court hearing, after being arrested in Dagenham, east London, on November 28.
Toure was fined £54,000 and banned from driving for 18 months as and when he appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court.
In a statement released on his website, Toure said he wanted to explain why, as a Muslim who does not drink, he had not contested the charge.
He said: “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 apologize for this situation.”