Togo coach Tom Saintfiet says he had no hand in star player Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor’s exclusion from the Ghana-Togo international friendly at the Accra Stadium.
The Tottenham Hotspur forward was missing in action at last Monday’s test game; but was captured chatting with Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan and GFA Communication Director Sani Daara at the inner perimeter.
His exclusion from the team sparked debate among the sporting media, with many citing the coach’s dislike for the striker.
The Belgian trainer however cleared the air in a post-match interview saying, ‘I never sent him out of the team. That is a misunderstanding, he sent himself out. Any player who didn’t train with the team automatically sends himself out.
‘We are building a team. We create a team atmosphere when we meet at the hotel, train and eat together. Not him alone; the first choice goalkeeper also failed to make the squad.
‘If you train twice out of 10 sessions, that does not show enough commitment,’ said the coach.
And responding to how he analyzed the game, he said, ‘I expected the Black Stars to push harder. I expected more power play because they are a powerhouse on the continent. May be the quality of my players accounted for their not-too-impressive showing.’
Like the Ghanaians, who used the game as rehearsals for this Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Mauritius, Togo will take on Liberia in a similar mission.
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum
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