Finally, a player speaks up in DEFENSE of the African Cup of Nations being in January, smack in the middle of the European football season.
Arsenal and Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor is against it, saying a move to June could have major health implications for the players.
Two high profile African players died this year – Zambia striker Chaswe Nsofwa collapsed while training in Israel and Cameroon under-23 star Clement Atangana perished under similar circumstances in Vietnam.
Adebayor says many players from the continent could suffer similar consequences when the African Cup of Nations is played in the summer because it is very hot in most parts of the continent.
“Only this year we have seen two African players die on the pitch so playing during the summer could be very dangerous for us,” Adebayor said.
“We know of the deaths of Nsofwa and Atangana because they are big players but we don’t know how many young or unknown players have died in Africa this year.
“Those making these demands would have to think about this carefully if a mistake is made in making a change. We might have a disaster on our hands.”
Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for Arsenal), Adebayor won't be at next month's Cup of Nations. Togo didn't qualify for the finals and Emmanuel is not pleased.
“I am very sad that we could not qualify as I very much wanted to be part of this big event for us Africans because it is not only a football tournament.
“The Cup of Nations brings us together as people and in our continent where a lot of people are deprived, football makes people happy and even forget their problems, that’s why I really wanted to be part of it.
“Even as I will not be playing I will follow the tournament closely and use my time in here to help my club Arsenal to win the title.”
The lanky striker is one of five nominated for the African Player of the Year. He hopes to win the award as a way of forgetting about Togo's non-qualification.
“It is a tough line up for this year’s African Player of the Year award as Drogba, Essien, Kanoute, and Diarra have being in excellent form.
“But I know my performance for my country and club this year will help me to win the award.
“I have being in a very good shape for Arsenal and represented Africa in a positive way by helping my country in a very difficult qualifying group.
“I hope I can win the award and share the same platform with great players like Abedi Pele, George Weah, Samuel Eto’o, Kanu and Drogba who have all won this award in the past.”