Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure will delay leaving for the African Cup of Nations to assist his side's multiple trophy tilt in the New Year.
Despite exiting the Champions League last week, City are still in contention for four trophies this season, resuming their quest for a trophy laden season in the New Year when they host Liverpool and then Manchester United, in the FA Cup.
While Toure feels obliged to serve his country, which is in the midst of a civil war, he admits feeling guilty leaving City in the lurch at an important time in the season.
“Our country needs people like me and [fellow Ivory Coast international] Didier Drogba at the moment,” he said. “There is a war again and it’s important we do what we can for our people. It is dangerous and people are afraid.
“The team, the club and the manager needs me and I do feel a little bit guilty and confused about leaving. But I have to go because my country is going through some difficult things with the war. City will cope.
"We have fantastic players who can take my place. I will not be away for a long time and I want to come back and help us win the league.”
FIFA rules state that the Ivory Coast are within their rights to call on Toure up to 14 days before the start of the tournament, on January 21st, ruling him out of the cup showdown with United.
However, Toure is ready to declare himself available for the game against United, as well as the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Liverpool, a week preceding the league clash between the two.
With Ivory Coast travelling to the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea as one of the tournament favourites, Toure and his brother Kolo aren't expected to return until a potential fifth round clash in the FA Cup or the league visit of Blackburn Rovers on February 25th.