Adebayor threatens to quit Togo's campaign

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The Independent Football

Adebayor, who joined the Gunners 10 days ago from Monaco for almost £4m, was dropped by Stephen Keshi from his country's opening African Nations' Cup match on Saturday night and the resulting row almost ended in the pair coming to blows after their defeat to DR Congo.

The pair had to be physically restrained on the team bus after the 2-0 defeat in the Military Stadium, when an argument over team selection escalated into Adebayor saying that he wanted to leave Egypt and then accusing Keshi of trying to cash in on his move to Arsenal.

However, Keshi denied all knowledge of the transfer until it was completed and said: "If he wants to leave, so be it. It's his country. I don't have a problem with any of my players. I'm their No 1 fan. I want to work with them but they must have discipline and he doesn't have discipline. He cannot work like that.

"I'm really disappointed in him and his behaviour. If he claimed to be the superstar of the team he could co-ordinate the players and motivate them. For example, look at what Samuel Eto'o did for the Cameroon team and Didier Drogba did with Ivory Coast on Saturday. If he thinks he is a superstar, he can bring the players along. Instead he is dragging them down."

Keshi initially dropped the 21-year-old, who was the top scorer in the African section of World Cup qualifiers with 11 goals, due to his lack of participation in Togo's training for this Nations' Cup. However, later in the day he reinstated him, only for Adebayor to refuse to play. He came on as a substitute but had an ineffective half-hour.

Togo will next play Cameroon on Wednesday but Adebayor said that he would never play for the team again if Keshi remained in charge and that he would return home to look after his sick mother. However, the former Metz striker took part in light training taken by Keshi yesterday, until he needed strapping on a thigh and sat out the rest of the session on the outskirts of Cairo.

Despite the trouble, Keshi predicted that Adebayor would toe the line at Arsenal whenever he started his career in north London. "He's not going to do this with Arsène Wenger, that's for sure. He does it with me because I'm a black coach, not a white one. Maybe if I was a white coach he would have a little respect for me."