PARIS (AFP) – Tottenham’s Togo star Emmanuel Adebayor has had a last minute change of heart and will after all take part in the Africa Cup of Nations later this month, according to the head of his country’s football federation.
The Spurs striker was planning to skip the January 19-February 10 competition in South Africa in a dispute over unpaid player bonuses and team security.
But reports from Togo indicated that the 28-year-old striker was now on board Togo’s cup campaign, leaving Tottenham — flying high in the English Premier League in third — without his services for up to six games.
Togolese Football Federation president Gabriel Ameyi confirmed that Adebayor would take part, telling Algerian radio station Smail Berhaiel on Monday: “Of course we are going to the Nations Cup with Adebayor, he will be with us in South Africa.”
Ameyi added: “It’s very important to have him with us, he’s our best player and the captain of our team. Drogba and all the stars will be there and Adebayor too.”
Adebayor joined up with the Togo squad for a training camp in Ghana but Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas was hopeful that he may still be available for Saturday’s Premier League game against Queens Park Rangers.
Security is an understandable pressing concern for Adebayor, who survived an attack on the Togo squad ahead of the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola in which a footballer and an official were killed by separatists seeking independence for the oil-rich Cabinda enclave.
Although he has found goals hard to come by for Tottenham this season, Adebayor is a consistent scorer for his country.
The star netted in both legs of a qualifier against Gabon that earned Togo a place at the 2013 Cup of Nations and then snatched the goal that brought a shock friendly win over former African champions Morocco.
His decision to compete will be welcomed by his team-mates of the tiny west African nation, which has the toughest of the opening round groups with favourites Ivory Coast and north African heavyweights Algeria and Tunisia.