The Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has called for the Confederation of African Football's president to resign over the "outrageous" decision to suspend Togo from the next two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments following their withdrawal from the 2010 competition.
Adebayor was on the Togo team bus when it was attacked in the northern province of Cabinda by gunmen two days before the start of the tournament in Angola, killing the side's assistant coach and media officer. The attack prompted the Togolese government to withdraw the side, in the face of the players' desire to compete, a decision that has led the Confederation's Cameroonian president Issa Hayatou to issue the sanction on grounds of political interference.
"Mr Hayatou has done much for Africa but now he must clear off. This decision is monstrous," Adebayor told L'Equipe yesterday, adding that he feels "totally betrayed". The striker, whose muted celebration yesterday after scoring in the 2-0 win over Portsmouth reflected the grief he has described at holding his country media officer Stan Ocloo as he died, added: "They're laughing in everybody's face and they do not care about the voice of the world."
Togo President Faure Gnassingbe had sent the side to the tournament "to defend the colours of our nation," Adebayor added. "He judged that the threat to our team had not been removed and called us back to the country. We are only ambassadors. We were obliged to return, and there was nothing we could do."
Adebayor's goal yesterday for City against Portsmouth was his seventh in 14 games for the club and his manager Roberto Mancini acknowledged his achievement while carrying the psychological effects of the Cabinda attack. "I know this situation. I know it was a difficult game for Manu. He needs more training but he played well. It is an incredible situation," Mancini said.
Togo's French coach, Hubert Velud, wants to know whether the ban is supported by Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Uefa president Michel Platini. "If they let this go, it is the gateway to completely dysfunctional football," he said.