Enough is enough for Togo head coach Tom Saintfiet. Emmanuel Adebayor won’t be back on the team so long as Saintfiet is in charge.
After the 31-year-old failed to report to national team duty, or even respond to multiple emails, texts, and phone calls, Adebayor is no longer welcome in the fold.
“If you are dating a woman who does not want to respond positively, then you must look for another woman,” Saintfiet said.
Relations between the national team and Adebayor have been cold for a while. Back in June following a 2-1 win over Liberia in which he scored the winner, he threatened to quit the team after he was removed as captain just hours before the match, replaced by Mathieu Dossevi at the time.
“For me, it is clear that it is a player who does not want to play for his country anymore,” Saintfiet said. “And he does not want his country to be qualified for the next African Cup of Nations. He has agreed to play against Liberia, and not against Djibouti. For me, it is not the duty of a player to decide against which opponent he will play.”
Despite Adebayor’s absence a week ago, Togo managed just fine, defeating Djibouti 2-0 in 2017 African Cup of Nations qualification behind goals from new captain Serge Akakpo (just three minutes in) and Alanyaspor striker Jonathan Ayite to go atop Group A.
The decision to skip national team duty may have been a very poor one personally for Adebayor. The 31-year-old has not been selected to the Tottenham squad for any of their first four Premier League matches, and was also left off the club’s Europa League squad. This would have been a chance to play and prove his worth against top competition, but instead chose to skip.