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Sunday, January 22, 2006
Togo coach says 'cry baby' Adebayor to stay

CAIRO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Togo coach Stephan Keshi called key striker Emmanuel Adebayor a 'cry baby' on Sunday for refusing to start Saturday's African Nations Cup match against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, Keshi said Adebayor, whose 10 goals in the qualifiers propelled Togo to their first World Cup appearance, would be staying with the squad in Egypt.

'He is a cry baby,' said Keshi of the Arsenal striker.

'He should be spear-heading the team like Didier Drogba does with Ivory Coast or Samuel Eto'o does with Cameroon.'

'He should be leading the players along but instead he is dragging the players behind.'

Keshi added: 'He is still part of the squad but he has to give me what I want.'

The lanky 22-year-old, who the night before said he was going back to Lome to see his mother who was ill, was seen having breakfast with his team-mates but refused to comment on the incident.

Togo, who caused a major upset by qualifying for the World Cup at Senegal's expense, were beaten 2-0 in Saturday's Group B match.

Their performance raised questions about whether they could hold their own in Germany.

Keshi's outburst came after a strange twist of events the night before.

Despite being included on the official team sheet, Adebayor failed to appear on the pitch and was replaced by Adekanmi Olufade.

Organisers later issued a hand-written note saying he had a digestive problem.

After the game, Keshi said he had initially dropped Adebayor in the morning, then changed his mind. However, Adebayor had refused to play.

Keshi, a former Nigeria captain who played in a record-breaking three Nations Cup finals, said Adebayor had become upset when he was told off for missing training sessions during the run-up for the tournament.

'I know he would never do that with (Arsenal coach) Arsene Wenger or he would be kicked out,' said Keshi.

'He is a baby compared to me, I have a son who is older than he is and I do not need to have a competition with any player.

'We have to go back to the drawing board.'




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