PARIS - Emmanuel Adebayor has called for Confederation of African Football (CAF) boss Issa Hayatou to quit after the "monstrous" decision to suspend Togo from the next two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations following their withdrawal from the tournament.
The Manchester City striker was on the Togo team bus when it was attacked in the northern province of Cabinda by gunmen two days before the January 10 start of the tournament. An assistant coach and team spokesperson were killed in the attack.
"Mr Hayatou has done much for Africa, but now he must clear off. This decision is monstrous," Adebayor was quoted as saying on the website of sports daily L'Equipe yesterday, adding that he feels "totally betrayed."
A separatist group called the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda claimed responsibility for the attack. Cabinda is Angola's main oil-producing region.
Adebayor was unhurt in the attack and played for City in a midweek League Cup semifinal loss to Manchester United.
CAF said the team had initially wanted to stay in the tournament but were called back by the Togolese government, resulting in the ban due to political interference.
Adebayor was furious with CAF's explanation.
"They are laughing in everybody's face," Adebayor said. "(Togo President Faure Gnassingbe) sent us to the (Africa Cup of Nations) to defend the colours of our nation. He judged that the threat to our team had not been removed and called us back to the country. We are only ambassadors. We had to go back."
Togo team officials also unsuccessfully asked CAF to allow the players to return home for three days of mourning before entering the tournament at a later date. - Sapa