Yaya Toure could miss Manchester City’s Capital One Cup tie at Newcastle on Wednesday after travelling to Kenya to become a United Nations ambassador for a campaign to stop the poaching and slaughter of elephants.
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While the midfielder was returning to the United Kingdom on Tuesday, City manager Manuel Pellegrini faces the decision whether to select him after he returned to his native Africa following the club’s defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.
Toure’s national team, Ivory Coast, are nicknamed ‘the Elephants’ and he has joined the opposition to the illegal ivory trade.
He said in a UN statement: “Poaching threatens the very existence of the African elephant and if we do not act now we could be looking at a future in which this iconic species is wiped out.
“I became a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador to spread the message that this poaching -- and other forms of wildlife crime -- is not only a betrayal of our responsibility to safeguard threatened species, but a serious threat to the security, political stability, economy, natural resources and cultural heritage of many countries.”
Toure tweeted a picture of himself with a couple of elephants and the message: “Heading back to Manchester after a day full of emotion in Nairobi!”
Heading back to Manchester after a day full of emotion in Nairobi!! pic.twitter.com/4MdXTvY78q— yaya toure (@Toure_yaya42) October 29, 2013