Adebayor may changed mind, play for Togo at African Cup

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Togo hopes Emmanuel Adebayor can lead it out of the first round for the first time.

Togo hopes Emmanuel Adebayor can lead it out of the first round for the first time.

Emmanuel Adebayor appears likely to change his mind and play for Togo at this month's African Cup of Nations after a meeting with his country's president.

Togo's sports minister El Hadj Fofana told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was "optimistic'' that the Tottenham striker would be in South Africa later this month for the continental championship.

The minister also confirmed Adebayor was currently in Ghana, where the Togolese squad was in a training camp, after the meeting with Togo president Faure Gnassingbe.

Adebayor had talks with Gnassingbe in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, on Monday, Fofana said, after the Togolese leader traveled there for the inauguration of new Ghana president John Dramani Mahama.

Adebayor's decision to stay with the team showed his "good will,'' Fofana said. The forward had refused to play at the African Cup over security concerns and disagreements with the Togo football federation over bonus payments for players.

"I do not think that he will continue dragging his feet,'' Fofana told the AP in Togo. "As far as I am concerned, his presence in Accra where the national football team is based for its preparation shows that he has come back.''

Adebayor's situation will be clarified on Wednesday, when teams have to announce their 23-man squads for the African Cup later this month. Togo coach Didier Six said Adebayor would remain in Accra for the next few days, suggesting he would be in the Togo squad bound for South Africa, where the tournament starts in less than two weeks.

"We will all know his position by tomorrow (Wednesday),'' Six told the AP from the Togo camp in Ghana.

Now 28, Adebayor had temporarily retired from international football after a gun attack on Togo's team bus at the 2010 African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola. Two members of the Togolese party were killed.

He was convinced to return but fell out with federation bosses in December over what he called "mismanagement and a lack of transparency'' and initially said he would not play for his country at this African Cup of Nations.

It will be Togo's first appearance at the African championship since the deadly attack on the team bus in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, which led the country to withdraw from that tournament. It then failed to qualify for the last tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.