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24th Apr 2017

Yaya Toure has a novel suggestion for refereeing of upcoming Manchester derby

Imagine it

Darragh Murphy

Yaya Toure has lost all trust in referees.

Manchester City endured some harsh calls from Craig Pawson and his assistants during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal.

It looked for all the world that Sergio Aguero had given City the lead after forcing a cross from Leroy Sane into Petr Cech and over the line, before Raheen Sterling smashed home. But the goal was ruled out after the ball was deemed to have gone out of play en route to Aguero’s path.

It was the wrong call.

Toure was also left furious as officials failed to award Pep Guardiola’s side a penalty after an ill-timed tackle on Aguero from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“I think the referees have to stop this – I am very disappointed,” said Toure. “It is not the first time, there have been a couple of times.

“If we have to talk about referees, people are going to say we complain but when we see the highlights, for me it is very disappointing.”

The FA Cup elimination means that Guardiola’s debut season in England is destined to finish trophyless but City have a crucial clash in the battle for a top-four place coming up opposite their arch-rivals Manchester United.

The Manchester derby is next up, on Thursday, and Toure has a novel suggestion for how the game should be officiated as the Ivorian midfielder admits that he would rather see the match take place without a referee.

“Maybe on Thursday we are going to have a better referee or maybe play without a referee – I’d prefer that,” Toure added.

We can’t see the FA going for that idea because Marouane Fellaini and his unpredictable elbows would have an absolute field day if there wasn’t a referee in charge.

But we can always dream.