‘You say you were at a party and thought you were drinking Diet Coke but you accepted it tasted different to how it usually does. In fact you were drinking brandy and coke.
‘It appears to me that whilst you may not have knowingly consumed alcohol it should have been clear to you that you were in fact drinking alcohol at some point before you took the decision to drive.
‘The reading is a high one and it is inconceivable that you were unaware of having consumed alcohol. You were right, in my view, not to pursue any argument with regard to special reasons.’
‘I give you full credit for pleading guilty – the fine would have been £81,000 but is reduced by a full one third to £54,000, a statutory surcharge of £170 and costs of £85.
‘Over the last two weeks there has been some confusion as to why I was charged with drink driving, as it is well known that I am a Muslim and do not drink. ‘I have always refused alcohol. Anyone who knows me or follows football will have seen me refuse champagne for Man of the Match performances because of my commitment to my religion.
‘The matter has now been resolved in court on Monday. As I was above the permitted limit when tested on the night, I decided not to challenge the charge. However, it was important to me that I told the court that I had not intentionally consumed alcohol. The judge in his sentencing remarks accepted that I had not been intentionally drinking.
‘Drink driving is a serious crime and even though I was not intentionally consuming alcohol I accept the ban and fine and I would like to apologise for this situation. I would also like to thank my family, the management and staff at Manchester City, my legal team and the fans for the support they have given me during this difficult time.’