- Premier League
Adebayor set to pull out of African Nations Cup
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is almost certain to refuse to play in the African Nations Cup after the Togolese FA changed coach Didier Six's tournament squad list, L'Equipe has reported.
The paper says former Aston Villa midfielder Six, who has been Togo coach since November 2011, handed the FA his 23-man list for the competition, which starts in South Africa on January 19, only for the final squad to show differences.
The list registered by the African Football Federation (CAF) shows two players named by the coach, ex-Swindon Town forward Thomas Dossevi and Marseille youngster Senah Mango, left out, while Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa - who had been ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury - is included.
Angered by the furore, Adebayor - who had hit out at the Togolese FA last month when he said he was unlikely to play in the tournament - could now refuse to take part, the French paper says.
He is not currently at the squad's training camp in Ghana, but Tottenham had said he would join his country's squad after their Premier League game against QPR at Loftus Road on Monday night. Six, who has 25 players with him, has been forced to appeal to disgruntled members of his playing staff not to quit, L'Equipe says.
"It's once more a problem of organisation," Herve Penot, the paper's African football expert, told ESPN FC. "Six gave a list which wasn't the one sent by the federation to the CAF. So certain players have to leave [the pre-tournament training camp]. Adebayor doesn't want to continue like this. We don't yet know what the other players are going to do. It's a right mess.
"I think it's definitive for Adebayor, but as long as the Nations Cup hasn't started, it's difficult to say. Perhaps things will move a bit now after the article, but logic dictates that other players won't go either."
Last month, Adebayor, 28, had said there was only a "5% chance" that he would play in the tournament. The Togo national captain said he remained in fear of his safety two years after the Togo team bus was ambushed by gunmen at the African Nations Cup in Angola. He denied claims by Togo officials that he did not want to play because of a dispute over unpaid bonuses.
However, he later said he had had a change of heart after face-to-face meetings with Faure Gnassingbe, the president of Togo. Should Adebayor and other players refuse to play in the African Nations Cup, they could face FIFA sanctions.