Togo are returning home from the Africa Cup of Nations, says captain Emmanuel Adebayor

10 January 2010 01:40
Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has told French radio his team will head homefrom the Africa Nations Cup this afternoon on the advice of the Togolese government.[LNB]A number of players had been quoted in the French media saying they were keen to play on as a mark of respect to those killed and injured in Friday's gun attack in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda.[LNB] Horror ordeal: Adebayor says Togo are going home[LNB]But Togolese prime minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo ordered the team must return today.[LNB]The players have now agreed and Togolese president Faure Gnassingbe has dispatched his presidential plane to collect them.[LNB] Armed guard: Angolan police monitor the Togo team bus as it leaves the Olympic Village[LNB]Adebayor told French radio station RMC: 'The head of state has decided we will return.[LNB]'There was a meeting between players yesterday (Saturday) and we said we were still footballers.[LNB]'We all decided to do something good for the country and play to honour those who died.[LNB]'Unfortunately, the head of state and the country's authorities have decided otherwise. We will pack up and go home.'[LNB] Anxious moments: Togo's reserve keeper Kodjovi Obilale arrives on a stretcher at Lanseria airport after being evacuated to Johannesburg for medical treatment[LNB]Adebayor's comments come after Houngbo announced the government's decision earlier today.[LNB]The Togolese prime minister told L'Equipe: 'We understand the approach of players who wanted to express a way to avenge their fallen comrades, but it would be irresponsible on the part of the authorities to let them continue.[LNB]'The team must return today. The government's decision is unchanged. It is a conscious decision since Friday. If a team or a person present themselves under the banner of Togo, it would be a false representation.'[LNB]On red alert: A member of the Angolan police special forces guards the Olympic village[LNB]Manchester City striker Adebayor revealed a conversation he held with Gnassingbe this morning had proved decisive.[LNB]'That's what made the difference,' he said. 'It was also our families and loved ones at home who called us. [LNB]'They told us we could continue if we wished but that it is the authorities who have the information.[LNB]'Is there going to be another attack? Nobody knows. If they asked us back (home), maybe they received a call saying that the threat was not passed.[LNB]'We are obliged to respect that. The head of state knows what is good for our careers and our lives. [LNB]'The presidential plane will pick us up,' he added.[LNB]'He told me that the plane had left Lome. There are about two hours flying between Lome and Cabinda. We will leave in two or three hours.'[LNB]The Togo players had voted to continue in the tournament despite an earlierdecision to withdraw as the death toll from the attack reportedly rose to three.[LNB]Adebayor admitted he had wanted to play on despite fear of another attack, but accepted the authorities knew best.[LNB]'This Friday at 14:30, we were all dead on that bus,' he said. 'We sent our last messages to our families. We called our family to say our last words.[LNB]'I told myself: 'If you're still there on the ground in Angola, why not (play in) the CAN?'[LNB]'Today, the authorities decided we should return, so we will return.'[LNB] Casualty: Togo assistant coach Abalo Amelete was reportedly killed in Cabinda[LNB]Adebayor revealed he has spoken to members of the Ivory Coast and Ghana camps - two of Togo's Group B opponents - who appeared to back a boycott but now seem set to continue.[LNB]'As captain and spokesman of Togo, I spoke with all authorities. I told them to take the measures necessary for our security.[LNB]'I spoke with the captain and the Ivory Coast delegation and with Ghanaians. They expressed their support by saying they were ready to leave the competition if we did.[LNB]'(But) at the end of the day, we realised that they were ready to continue. It is still a continent where a World Cup will take place in South Africa.[LNB]'If we speak of the dead, the competition should have been cancelled. But CAF(Confederation of African Football) have decided otherwise.[LNB]'We're going back and we wish good luck to those who will remain, especially to Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana.[LNB]'What I have told their leaders is that they may be attacked at any time in Cabinda. I hope they will be cautious.'[LNB] Togo's Africa Cup of Nations plans still unclear after horrific gun ambushPremier League stars to flee Africa: Emmanuel Adebayor pulls out as terror attack leaves three deadIAN RIDLEY: After this disaster at the Africa Cup of Nations, let players decide if they go to World CupCapello's number two Baldini risks trip to Angola despite terror attack[LNB]  

Source: Daily_Mail