Adebayor sets personal concerns aside

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The Independent Football

Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed he returned to international football with Togo for the sake of the Africans' "future".

The 24-year-old refused to travel for the last World Cup qualifier, dismayed at the uneasy relationship between the Togo Football Federation administrators and what he feels is "bad treatment" of the squad.

The Hawks are still without a full-time coach after Frenchman Henri Stambouli quit the post following a disagreement with the national federation.

However, Adebayor - who smashed 30 goals for the Gunners last season - maintains he will feature in the decisive clash against Swaziland in Accra.

"This is a very important game for the future of football in my country and that's why I have put aside my concerns," Adebayor told BBC Sport.

"We played at the World Cup in Germany and we should have used that opportunity to improve the administration of the game in Togo.

"Yet the problem over the bad treatment of the players and coaches by the federation still persists and as the captain of the team, I won't turn the blind eye.

"There is enough time from now until the next phase of the qualifiers for these issues to be addressed so that the future of Togo football can be secured."

The Gunners have nearly all their first-team squad away on international duty - including England's man-of-the-moment Theo Walcott.

The 19-year-old netted a super hat-trick in the last game against Croatia and is expected to feature again when minnows Kazakhstan come to Wembley.

Coach Bernd Storck is in no doubt of the danger faced by the speedy Gunners forward.

"I've seen a lot of games in my career and I was at the Croatia game," the German said.

"What I saw of Walcott there was unbelievable. He's like [Lionel] Messi was at that age - a very fine player.

"Walcott was the youngest player to play in England's national team and is still a player for the future.

"He's very fast, with good technique."

Arsenal captain William Gallas, though, will not be in action tomorrow when France host Romania because of a thigh problem, while Robin van Persie's hamstring injury has ruled him out of Holland's clash with Iceland in Rotterdam.