Adebayor withdraws from Togo trip

Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor had demanded that the TFF president fly with the team

Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has refused to fly to Zambia for Wednesday’s key 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The Arsenal striker’s decision came after a row with the players demanding that the president of the Togo Football Federation (TFF) travel with them.

But the TFF said Tata Avlessi Adaglo would not fly as he was preparing for the burial of his mother.

The rest of the team accepted this, but Adebayor remained in Lome.

A TFF spokesman later confirmed to the BBC that Adebayor had stayed in the Togolese capital.

Togo had already suffered a troubled build-up to the match, following the resignation last week of their French coach Henri Stambouli after just four months in charge.

The TFF told the players that its vice-president Gabriel Ameyi would travel instead of Adaglo, and the rest of the team flew out of Lome on Tuesday.

Since this match has been dedicated to the president, Dr Mwanawasa, let’s win at all cost and with a good margin
Zambian sports minister Gabriel Namulambe

The Hawks’ clash with Zambia was originally due to take place on Saturday, having been postponed as a mark of respect for Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa, who died in August.

Zambian sports minister Gabriel Namulambe has urged his compatriots to win convincingly as a tribute to the late president.

“Since this match has been dedicated to the president, Dr Mwanawasa, let’s win at all cost and with a good margin,” he said.

It is one of two rescheduled qualifiers on Wednesday, with Sudan playing Chad in the neutral venue of Cairo for the second time in four days.

Chad defeated Sudan 2-1 in the first tie of the double-header between the two sides on Saturday.

The first qualifying match between the pair was scheduled for 31 May but after an attack on the Sudanese capital Khartoum by a Darfur rebel group, Sudan severed diplomatic relations with Chad, and Chad refused to travel to play in Khartoum.

After both countries resumed relations at the end of July, Fifa arranged for both qualifiers to be played in Egypt.

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