Eboue backs Adebayor ban

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The Independent Football

The three-match ban imposed on Emmanuel Adebayor yesterday by the Football Association for his attempted stamp on Robin van Persie has been welcomed by his former Arsenal team-mates.

Emmanuel Eboué, a close friend of his fellow west African when the two were together at the Emirates, said: "I am happy the FA gave him a three-game ban, very, very happy. What he did was no good for football because you have a lot of young people who watch the game and see that. I was very disappointed [in him].

"In the dressing-room [after Saturday's game] we were very disappointed because we didn't know what happened to Adebayor. When he was in our team, we were together, we did everything together and so we don't know what happened."

Eboué revealed that City's other former Gunner, Kolo Touré, had come in to their dressing room to "say sorry to everyone" but subsequent contact with Adebayor had been limited to a brief post-match exchange. "Because I know him I said, 'Ok, bye-bye, all the best.' Then I got on the coach," said Eboué. "Will I stay friends? If he calls me, I'll speak with him. But he hasn't called yet. I'll wait. If he calls me, I say 'Thank you God', if he doesn't call me, that's his problem."

Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal's captain, added: "It's a bit strange. We always respected him. All I tried to do when he was at Arsenal was to create opportunities for him to score. So I think I didn't do too badly for him."

During the match Adebayor caught Fabregas with a tackle that the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, said deserved a red card. Fabregas, rolling up his trouser leg to reveal a three-inch gash on his calf, said, "I think this is a red card. I was lucky my foot was in the air when it happened." Fabregas added:

Eboué, though, did have some words of encouragement. "I know him, and I know he will think about what he did, and the ban, and take it on. Now I think he will try to play his game."

Not for a while though, not until City have played Sunday's Manchester derby with United, a Carling Cup tie with Fulham and the 28 September visit of West Ham United. Adebayor's suspension leaves Mark Hughes short of attacking options for Old Trafford with Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and Benjani Mwaruwari injured, and Carlos Tevez doubtful.

City have until 30 September to consider the improper conduct charge relating to Adebayor's goal celebration in front of Arsenal's fans. They are expected to contest it.

Arsenal, meanwhile, host Wigan Athletic at home buoyed by Wednesday's comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the Champions League away to Standard Liege. "I feel now that the team has grown up," added Eboué." We've grown up together. We are more focused now."