Former Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has lashed out at European clubs for deliberately frustrating players from representing their countries in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
With the continental showpiece barely a month away, top European clubs are reluctant to their players for the biannual tournament.
The European Clubs Association (ECA) is keen on ensuring African players are not released for the upcoming AFCON tournament to be staged in Cameroon.
The ECA has petitioned FIFA on the release of African players ahead of next month’s AFCON tournament which kicks starts on January 9- 6 February 2022.
The ECA is making a case due to the rapid spread of the Omicron virus as a basis for the clubs not to release players for the tournament due to quarantine relegations upon their return.
In their statement, they claim African countries will not be able to guarantee the safety of the players amid the new COVID-19 variant outbreak when they join their respective national teams.
But former Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor has criticized the European clubs for sabotaging the tournament in the French-speaking country.
“There is no coach in the world that can prevent me from playing at the AFCON. It’s disgusting that some persons are trying to prevent the African Players from playing at the AFCON.” he said
European clubs are expected to release invited players from December 27 to their respective national teams per the rules ahead of the tournament.
The top leagues of Europe are oiled by the brilliance of African footballers like Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez, Thomas Partey of Ghana as well as Gabon’s Pierre Aubameyang will be robbed of their excitement if the players leave to play for their countries.
The tactics by the European media and the ECA is seen by many in Africa as the strategy to rob the continent of its top players the deny it from being exciting.