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Adebayor vows boycott over safety fears

Tottenham forward Emmanuel Adebayor says he will not play for Togo in the Africa Cup of Nations unless his safety is assured.

The national side suffered a horrific attack at the competition in Angola in 2010 which left three people travelling on the team bus dead.

While some people have accused Adebayor of refusing to play due to unpaid bonuses, the Spurs star revealed he spends his own money to make sure other members of the national squad can travel to and from games.

“I am hearing people saying I do not want to go to the African Nations Cup because of unpaid bonuses,” he told The Sun.

“I do not need a bonus from Togo – it is 1,000 pounds per game. I would not refuse to play for my country over money.

“Sometimes I have to take responsibility and I have even helped pay bonuses.

“It is all about the organisation – or lack of it. There is only a five per cent chance I could go – I am not putting my life at risk.”

Memories of the 2010 attack are still painful for Adebayor, and he does not feel the Togolese Football Association have done enough to avoid similar events from unfolding at the 2012 showpiece in South Africa.

“I was on the bus in Angola when people died in front of me. I held them as they died.

“Even the government do not want to pay for the treatment for the people who survived. It is not right. It is a terrible situation. After we qualified for South Africa I told them we had to sort things out.

“I said we needed a good organisation otherwise I was not going. Now we are going to South Africa and nothing has changed.”

The 28-year-old remembers having to wear armoured protection after the attack in 2010, but says he is unwilling to put his life on the line again if changes are not made.

“I had to leave a team bus wearing a bullet-proof vest and a bullet-proof helmet. People wanted me dead. I was told I was the target,” he said.

“I retired from international football but people asked me to come back and use my experience – so I agreed.

“I kept telling the FA to get organised but they have not listened. I am glad we qualified again but I cannot risk everything.”

Sun 23 December, 2012
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