Kolo Toure came close to causing Manchester City embarrassment yesterday when he arrived for a tour of a busy football conference without telling his club.
City were angry that the organisers of Soccerex had seen fit to invite a player who is currently suspended after allegedly taking an illegal substance. Had they known about the proposed appearance, the club would have vetoed it.
City have refused to disclose even if Touré has provided a B sample, having failed an initial drugs test in February, as they do not want to be seen to be influencing any possible Football Association hearing. But Touré seemed ready to speak as he toured the Soccerex convention in Manchester and was whisked out of journalists' reach just before doing so. Asked whether he had a message for City fans, the defender replied: "I will be back soon. I hope so."
Touré's appearance, yesterday afternoon was certainly bizarre. After stopping to talk to a turf company, he sampled a hand-eye coordination game, before moving on to the next stand with a large media entourage on his trail.
City consider the invitation to represent opportunism, though Soccerex did extend its offer some time in advance. "Soccerex is delighted Kolo Touré was able to [attend]," organisers said in a statement
Meanwhile, Andrea Traverso, Uefa's head of club licensing and responsible for implementing Michel Platini's financial fair play (FFP) regime has told The Independent that 20 clubs from across Europe – possibly including City – will be asked to volunteer for a dummy run of the regime from this autumn. This will allow Uefa to monitor their spending closely and assess their willingness to comply with FFP.