10.44 PM Tuesday, 26 September 2023
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 04:52 06:05 12:13 15:36 18:15 19:28
26 September 2023 $dmi_content.escapeHtml4($rs.get('weather.code.w${report.significantWeather.code}')) Max: 39 °

Adebayor slams Africa Cup ban

Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor said the decision was outrageous. (AFP)

By Agencies

Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has labelled the decision to ban his national team from the next two editions of the African Nations Cup as "outrageous".

The west African side were yesterday banned from the next two tournaments and hit with a fine following their withdrawal from this year's competition in the wake of a terrorist attack on their team bus.

The decision was made by the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and was greeted with disgust by Adebayor. The Manchester City striker claimed the CAF's Cameroonian President Issa Hayatou had "completely betrayed" the Togo squad and called for him to leave his post.

He told L'Equipe: "Mr Hayatou has served Africa extensively, but now he must escape. This decision is outrageous."

Three people were killed in the January 8 attack, which occurred while Togo were en route to the team hotel two days before their opening match.

There followed a period of confusion as to whether the players wanted to play on, but they were ultimately called home by their government having decided themselves they wished to stay.

The CAF deemed that move amounted to political interference, leading to yesterday's sanction.

Adebayor continued: "They do not care about the voice of the world. It was our head of state [Faure Gnassingbe] who sent us to the African Nations Cup 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, was also astonished by the decision and wants to know whether it is one supported by Fifa President Sepp Blatter and Uefa chief Michel Platini.

"I am curious to know if Blatter and Platini will endorse this decision," he said.

"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."


Keep up with the latest business news from the region with the Emirates Business 24|7 daily newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.