LONDON: Tottenham and Togo are waiting for a decision from striker Emmanuel Adebayor on whether will decide to join his country’s squad at the imminent African Nations Cup in South Africa.
The 28-year-old could miss five games for the Premier League side, including a home game against Premier leaders Manchester United the day after Afcon kicks off in Johannesburg on January 19 and two days before Togo open their campaign against Ivory Coast in Rustenburg.
After Spurs’ 3-1 win over Reading on Tuesday, manager Andre Villas-Boas said: “If he wants to go, we respect that. The player can still go, I understand it is still a possibility. It was always his choice, I’m not going to put pressure on him. We’ve left it to [the] player to decide.”
Adebayor recently put his international career on hold because of a dispute with the Togolese federation over match bonuses but has come under pressure to change his mind from manager Didier Six, the former France World Cup winger.
The player has denied that his concern was linked with events at the 2010 finals, in Angola, when separatist guerillas attacked the bus carrying the Togo squad – including Adebayor – as it crossed into Cabinda from the Democratic Republic of Congo on its way to Luanda for the tournament.
Bus driver Mario Adjoua, the team’s assistant manager Abalo Amelete and media officer Stanislas Ocloo were killed, with several others injured in the attack.
** Ethiopia have included Swedish-born midfielder Yussuf Saleh in their 23-man squad for the Nations Cup. The 28-year-old, who is on loan with Swedish top-flight side Syrianska, is one of a trio of foreign-based players selected.
Coach Sewnet Bishaw also selected striker Saladin Seid, who plays for Egypt’s Wadi Degla, and winger Fuad Ibrahim who is with Minnesota Stars in the second-tier North American Soccer League.
Rank outsiders Ethiopia have been drawn in Group C along with Zambia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
Squad: Jemal Tassew (Coffee FC), Sisay Bancha (Dedebit), Zerihun Tadelle (Saint George); Degu Debebe (Saint George), Biyadglign Eliase (Saint George), Abebaw Butako (Saint George), Alula Girma (Saint George), Seyum Tesfaye (Dedebit), Birhanu Bogale (Dedebit), Aynalem Hailu (Dedebit); Asrat Megersa (EEPCO), Addis Hintsa (Dedebit), Yared Zinabu (Saint George), Shimelese Bekele (Saint George), Behailu Asefa (Dedebit), Minyahel Teshome (Dedebit), Dawit Estifanose (Coffee FC), Yussuf Saleh (Syrianska); Saladin Seid (Wadi Degla), Adane Girma (Saint George), Umed Ukuri (Saint George), Getaneh Kebede (Dedebit), Fuad Ibrahim (Minnesota Stars)
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