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Football: Weah: Joe treated me like a child; EXCLUSIVE.

FORMER World Player of the Year George Weah last night walked out of Manchester City and insisted: "I have been treated like a child."

He claims manager Joe Royle has made him look foolish in front of the other players by swearing at him and hurling obscenities at him.

Weah believes he was only signed to help attract other stars to Maine Road and is furious at being branded a trouble maker.

He said: "The reason I am leaving Manchester City is not because I am not playing. It is because of the lack of communication and respect shown to me by Mr Royle.

"I will not stay for somebody to insult me, insult my integrity, to make me look small in front of younger players." Weah opened his heart to Mirror Sport moments after terminating his contract with City yesterday and then revealed the reasons for his decision.

The Liberian insists it is not because he has not been playing, but because he has been disrespected by Royle.

Weah added: "Of course, if a player doesn't play he is not happy, but I feel that I am not treated with respect or treated fairly.

"I have been left out of better sides than at Manchester City. At Milan, at Chelsea, I have been a substitute. That is no problem but I will not be made to look like a child. I do accept that I will not play all the games because of my age and at Chelsea I did not play all the time. But I

have been made to feel old and of no use to Manchester City. I feel that I have been used for publicity - to attract the public and get big players to come here.

"I do not perceive myself as a big player. I respect all that I work with and expect the same in return.

"I am not willing to subject myself to feeling small in front of the young players that I had hoped to be an example and inspiration to.

"We signed a deal that I should play x amount of games, but I am not playing. What is the point of having me?"

City agreed to release Weah from his two-year pounds 30,000-a-week contract with immediate effect from yesterday.

Manager Royle and director Chris Bird had hoped to convince the former AC Milan star to stay but he refused to change his mind.

Weah revealed last night that he originally quit 16 days ago after clashing with Royle at Newcastle. He was furious after Royle swore at him and ordered him to 'Shut up and f*** off' after making a suggestion.

Weah added: "He doesn't have confidence in me."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Fletcher, James
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2000
Words:451
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