Yaya Toure criticises referee following Manchester City's 'strange' and 'very sad' FA Cup defeat

Jack Pitt-Brooke
The Independent
Yaya Toure was left angry with the performance of referee Craig Pawson: Getty
Yaya Toure was left angry with the performance of referee Craig Pawson: Getty

Yaya Toure said that Manchester City’s FA Cup defeat to Arsenal on Sunday was unfair, “strange” and “very sad”, because of the refereeing decisions of Craig Pawson at Wembley.

City had a legitimate goal disallowed in the first half, and had another penalty claim turned down and veteran midfielder Toure was furious afterwards, even admitting that he was running the risk of FA action with the intensity of his criticism of the officials.

With Toure out of contract this summer and no agreement on a new deal yet, it could have been his last chance to win a trophy with City. And he was furious with how it ended.

“When you lose the fair way, the games we have been losing like Monaco, it was deserved,” Toure said. “This was quite strange, very sad. It's going to be difficult for me to forget this game because I'm very, very angry. I don't know how to explain myself. If I say something wrong the FA is going to take charges, you have to be careful what you say.”

Toure said that the officiating on Sunday underlined the case for Video Assistant Referees (VAR), which have been agreed upon by IFAB and are now set to be introduced. “When the referee makes mistakes you respect them, they work hard and it's not easy for them,” Toure said. “But next season they are going to put in cameras [technology]. They have to to do them, a couple of spots where they put the video to tell the referees if it's a penalty or a goal. It is better like that. When you score a goal and the referee says no, then how can you forget that? What can we do?”

As well as more technological help, Toure also argued that referees should be accountable to the media and should speak about their decisions after a game. “I think the referee has to come now and give their point of view as well,” Toure said “It's too easy for them. But if you say anything about them it is going to be highlighted. You know what I mean, the FA are going to come and fine me. At the end of the day they [officials] don't care, they just go.”

City must now recover for Thursday’s Manchester derby, knowing that another defeat will seriously harm their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. But Toure tried to stay positive. “We have to recover and be ready,” Toure said. “If we win we will forget this game, but if we lose then it will be more difficult.

"We need to be in the Champions League. City have qualified for the Champions League for six years now and Thursday is very important. It's a special game.”

What to read next