Adebayor to take part in Afcon after all
Paris, France – Togo-born and Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor has had a last minute change of heart and will after all take part in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), according to the head of his nation’s football federation.
The Spurs marksman was planning to skip the January 19 to February 10 competition in South Africa in a dispute over unpaid player bonuses and team security.
But reports from Togo indicated that the 28-year-old striker was now on board Togo’s cup campaign, leaving Spurs – flying high in the English Premier League in third position – without his services for up to six matches.
Togolese Football Federation president Gabriel Ameyi confirmed that Adebayor would take part, telling Algerian radio station Smail Berhaiel yesterday: “Of course, we are going to the Nations Cup with Adebayor. He will be with us in South Africa.”
Ameyi added: “It’s very important to have him with us, he is our best player and the captain of our team. Drogba and all the stars will be there and Adebayor too.”
Adebayor joined up with the Togo squad for a training camp in Ghana but Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas was hopeful that he may still be available for Saturday’s Premier League match against Queens Park Rangers.
Security is an understandable concern for Adebayor having survived an attack on the Togo squad ahead of the 2010 Afcon in Angola in which a footballer and an official were killed by separatists seeking independence for the oil-rich Cabinda enclave.
Although he has found goals hard to come by for Spurs this season, Adebayor is a consistent scorer for his nation.
The lanky star netted in both legs of a qualifier against Gabon that earned Togo a place at this Africa Cup of Nations.
He then snatched a goal that brought a shock friendly win over former African champions Morocco.
His decision to compete will be welcomed by his team-mates of the tiny west African nation, which has the toughest of the opening round groups with favourites Ivory Coast and north African heavyweights Algeria and Tunisia.