Yaya Toure Kept from Representing Country

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of,

tourx_yayaEnglish Premier League football club Manchester City has been granted special dispensation to delay Yaya Toure’s departure for the Africa Cup of Nations. The Ivory Coast international had looked set to miss out on the Football Association Cup third round match against Manchester United and the first leg of the League Cup (Carling Cup) semifinal matchup with Liverpool, but he will now be able to feature in both matches.

Although glad he can take part in two important matches, Toure admits to feeling indifferent about the situation, with his loyalties split between club and country. The star midfielder told reporters, “Our country needs people like myself and Didier Drogba because there is a war and it’s important we do what we can for our people, but this is also a crucial time of the season. There are two crucial months coming up and now I am going to miss one of them. The team, the club and the manager need me, but I will have to go away and play in a different competition. It’s difficult as I am very focused for City and we need all the players. I have to go because my country is going through some difficult things, but I am a little bit guilty and confused about it. My loyalties are divided and I do feel a little bit sad. But City will cope.”

The tournament, hosted in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, begins on January 21st, with Ivory Coast’s first match taking place in Malabo against Sudan on January 22nd. Meanwhile, Manchester City sit atop the English Premier League with 38 points, two points ahead of cross-town rival Manchester United.


Haroon Khan Barred from Representing Pakistan

Compiled by Parvez Fatteh, Founder of,

_ABU2203, 2203British-Pakistani boxer Haroon Khan has been told by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) that he cannot represent Pakistan in international competition. Khan’s father, Shah Khan, told the BBC that they intend to appeal the decision, which if supported, would prevent Haroon from representing Pakistan at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Khan, age 20, is the younger brother of WBA and IBF light welterweight boxing world champion Amir Khan. Their father told BBC Radio Manchester, “The Pakistan boxing federation got an email that Haroon can’t represent them as he represented England as a youth. We sent letters out to AIBA and we’re hoping that they’ll accept all this.”

Haroon Khan was originally scheduled to represent Pakistan in the upcoming World Boxing Championships in Azerbaijan, which act as an Olympic qualifying even. Khan represented England as a youth in 2009. He initially hoped to box for England in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, but after being overlooked, opted instead to fight for Pakistan, and won a bronze medal.

“Their rulings say when a boxer becomes a national in more than one country then he has decided which country he wants to represent,” Shah Khan added. “He became a national of Pakistan in 2010, now that was after he’d boxed for England. Then he decided he wanted to box for Pakistan, which he did in the Commonwealth games, where he won a bronze medal. If you go by that rule he did decide to box for Pakistan so he should be entitled to box for Pakistan. There is another qualifier in February and we’re keeping our fingers crossed he’ll be going there.”

Hopefully this can be resolved so that Khan can box for the country of his heritage. It would make especially great theater for it to take place in in his newly-adopted country of England.