Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor slams ‘outrageous’ ban
Adebayor attended the funerals of Abalo Amelete and Stanislas Ocloo
Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has called the decision to ban his national team from the next two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments “outrageous”.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) also fined the Hawks $50,000 for quitting the competition in the wake of a gun attack on the team bus in Angola.
Two members of their delegation were killed in the ambush on 8 January, two days before the tournament began.
“This decision is outrageous,” Adebayor told French newspaper L’Equipe.
The Manchester City striker claimed Caf’s Cameroonian president Issa Hayatou had “completely betrayed” the Togo squad.
“Mr Hayatou has served Africa extensively, but now he must be released [from the post],” added Adebayor.
Following the attack there followed a period of confusion, but the players were ultimately called home for three days of national mourning by their government.
But Caf deemed that move amounted to political interference, leading to Saturday’s sanction.
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However, 25-year-old Adebayor retorted: “They do not care about the voice of the world.
“It was our head of state (Faure Gnassingbe) who sent us to the African Cup of Nations to defend the colours of our country.
“He said the threat surrounding our squad had not gone and told us to return to our country. We are only ambassadors. We were obliged to return, and there was nothing we could do.”
Togo’s French coach, Hubert Velud, has also expressed astonishment at the decision, saying he wants to know whether Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Uefa chief Michel Platini support the ban.
“I am curious to know if Blatter and Platini will endorse this decision,” said Velud.
“If they let this go, it is the gateway to completely dysfunctional football. I officially launched an appeal to international bodies to see their reaction.”