Abuja – Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure will prefer to play without a referee in Thursday’s derby with Manchester United in the English Premier League.

The Ivorian said this on Monday while criticising the standard of officiating in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal.

Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure (C) celebrates with Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (L) and Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho (R) after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in south London on November 19, 2016. Manchester City won the game 2-1. AFP

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that referee Craig Pawson had ruled out Sergio Aguero’s first-half strike at Wembley.

Replays suggested the goal should have stood and Manchester City went on to lose the game 1-2 after extra time.

“I think the referees have to stop this,” said Toure.

“I am very disappointed. It is not the first time, there have been a couple of times.

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

Officials ruled that Leroy Sane’s cross had gone out of play before reaching Aguero.

The Argentina striker later did score to put Manchester City ahead but goals from Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez sent Arsenal into May’s FA Cup final, where they will meet Chelsea.

Defeat means Manchester City’s focus switches to the Premier League, where they are currently fourth.

But Manchester United will leapfrog them if they win on Thursday.

“It is a very big game, an important game,” added Toure.

“We have to do that job and we will see what can happen. We hope we are going to have a good referee.”(NAN)

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