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On this day in 2010: Emmanuel Adebayor retires from Togo duty after bus attack

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Emmanuel Adebayor announced he was to retire from international football on this day in 2010.

The striker, who was aged 26 and a Manchester City player at the time, made the decision in the wake of an attack on the Togo team bus during the Africa Cup of Nations earlier that year, in which three people were killed.

A statement from Adebayor on City’s official website read: “Following the tragic events during January’s Africa Cup of Nations, in which two of my fellow countrymen were killed by terrorists in Angola, I have made the very difficult decision to retire from international football.

Three people were killed in the attack Adebayor was caught up in (Martin Rickett/PA).
Three people were killed in the attack Adebayor was caught up in (Martin Rickett/PA).

“I have weighed up my feelings in the weeks and months since the attack and I am still haunted by the events which I witnessed on that horrible afternoon on the Togo team bus.

“We were just footballers going to play a football match and represent our country, yet we were attacked by people who wanted to kill us all. It is a moment I will never forget and one I never want to experience again.”

He added: “For nine years I have played for the Togo team and, despite the events in Angola, I have some very good memories of my international career. I feel very proud to have been trusted with the position of captain of the Togolese football team.

“Togo have some very talented players and I dearly hope the players who remain will be able to put their memories of Angola behind them and go on to be a success for the nation. The people who were on that coach together will forever be joined by a special bond – we are all brothers.”

Adebayor returned to national team duty in 2011 (Nick Potts/PA).
Adebayor returned to national team duty in 2011 (Nick Potts/PA).

The attack, which happened as the team travelled to Angola for the start of the continental showpiece, saw terrorists open fire on the coach in the Cabinda region.

An assistant coach and the team’s press officer, plus the coach’s Angolan driver, were killed and defender Serge Akakpo and goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale were among a number of passengers injured.

Togo pulled out of the tournament after the attack and were banned by the Confederation of African Football for the next two editions, a sanction that was later lifted.

Adebayor returned to national team duty in November 2011. The former Arsenal, Tottenham and Crystal Palace man is Togo’s record scorer with 32 goals and played for them at the 2006 World Cup.