Wed, Apr 14, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Adebayor retires from international duty

AFP , LONDON

Emmanuel Adebayor holds the African Player of the Year trophy on Feb. 10 last year in Lagos, Nigeria.

PHOTO: AFP

Manchester City and Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor retired from international soccer on Monday, saying he was “still haunted” by the attack on his country’s team bus at the African Nations Cup.

Adebayor looked on in horror as bullets riddled the bus in an attack that killed an assistant coach and the squad’s spokesman and led Togo to pull out of the tournament in January.

He later admitted he feared he would die during the assault in the Angolan province of Cabinda and he has been unable to shake off the mental scars of the incident.

“Following the tragic events during January’s African Cup of Nations, in which two of my fellow countrymen were killed by terrorists in Angola, I have made the very difficult decision to retire from international football,” Adebayor told his club’s Web site.

“I have weighed up my feelings in the weeks and months since the attack, and I am still haunted by the events which I witnessed on that horrible afternoon on the Togo team bus,” he said.

“We were just footballers going to play a football match and represent our country, yet we were attacked by people who wanted to kill us all. It is a moment I will never forget and one I never want to experience again,” the former Arsenal striker said.

The coach’s Angolan driver also died in the attack, while defender Serge Akakpo and goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale were among a number of passengers injured.

Obilale was flown to a South African hospital for life-saving surgery and remained there for two months, with Adebayor paying for his partner and sister to travel to South Africa and accompany him during his recovery.

Adebayor scored 16 goals in 38 appearances for Togo and helped his team reach the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

He insisted he will always have a special bond with the team-mates who were on the bus in Cabinda.

“The people who were on that coach together will forever be joined by a special bond — we are all brothers,” he said.

“I will always have the team and the people of Togo close to my heart and wish them every success in the challenges that they will face in the future,” Adebayor said.

“For nine years I have played for the Togo team and, despite the events in Angola, I have some very good memories of my international career,” Adebayor said. “I feel very proud to have been trusted with the position of captain of the Togolese football team. Leading your country in international competition is the ultimate honor for any player.”

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top