Yaya Toure puts International return ‘on hold’

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Yaya Toure has pulled out of two friendly internationals over the next week for “family reasons’’,  putting his long-awaited Cote D’Ivoire comeback on hold.

Toure, who turns 35 in May, was named last week in a 24-man squad for matches in France against Togo and Moldova.

He had turned his back on international football since leading the Ivorians to the African Nations Cup title in early 2015.

The Manchester City midfielder made a surprise announcement in December of a return in spite of the Ivorians having failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

He had since then been expected to feature in the match against Togo this weekend.

The Ivorian Football Federation added that Olympique Lyonnais striker Maxwell Cornet, Jean Philippe Gbamin from Bundesliga club Mainz and Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace had all pulled out because of injury.