x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Adebayor: Togo ban is monstrous

The Togo captain calls for the CAF President to resign following the "monstrous" decision to ban Togo from the next two African Cup of Nations.

Issa Hayatou, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, should resign following the "monstrous" decision to ban Togo from the next two African Cup of Nations, their captain Emmanuel Adebayor said yesterday. Togo quit the tournament when their government recalled the team for three days of mourning after two members of their delegation, and their bus driver, were killed in an attack by gunmen in the northern Angolan province of Cabinda on January 8.

CAF banned Togo and fined their national association US$50,000 (Dh180,000) on Saturday because their government had interfered in football matters. "Mr Hayatou did serve Africa but today, he must clear off. This decision is monstrous," Adebayor told French sports daily L'Equipe. "He [Hayatou] is irresponsible. I have the feeling we are not respected." Christophe Tchao, the Togo's sports minister, has said that they would appeal the CAF ban

An assistant coach and a media officer with the Togo team died in the ambush as the team travelled by bus from Pointe Noire, Congo to the Angolan capital Luanda for their opening match. "Two well respected personalities in African football died, our keeper [Kodjovie Obilale] took three bullets. We did not just wake up in the morning and decide to leave the competition," Adebayor said. "If [Cameroon keeper Idriss Carlos] Kameni was the one having been shot or if it was the Ivory Coast team bus that had been attacked, the Nations Cup would have been cancelled."

The Manchester City striker said the attack, which lasted at least 20 minutes, was still fresh in his memory. "It is very difficult. Since the attack, I have been having nightmares every night," he said. * Reuters