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Sun Apr 20 21:10:27 SAST 2014

Adebayor may change mind about Afcon

PETER WILSON in London | 07 January, 2013 07:370 Comments
Emmanuel Adebayor of Spurs in action during the FA Cup third-round match against Coventry City at White Hart Lane on Saturday
Image by: Clive Rose / Getty Images

EMMANUEL Adebayor is poised to change his mind about the Nations Cup and make himself available for Togo, who kick off their participation in the tournament against West African rivals Ivory Coast in Rustenburg on January 22.

The deadline for player registration is this week and Togo are hoping to add the Tottenham striker to their squad.

Yesterday Tottenham were reportedly putting a contingency plan in place in the event of Adebayor's absence.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the English Premier League club was about to make a £15-million bid for Brazil striker Leandro Damiao, who would stand in for Adebayor while he is in South Africa.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is a long-time admirer of Damiao, 23,who was the top scorer at the London Olympics, with six goals in five appearances, and currently plays for Brazilian club Internacional.

Adebayor has until Wednesday to decide on whether to play for Togo this month. He has indicated that he is having second thoughts about retiring from international football, as he said he might after Cabinda separatists in Angola attacked the Togo team bus before the 2010 Nations Cup in that country.

He returned to the Togo team in November 2011 only to quit again over a pay dispute.

Though Adebayor appears to have chosen in favour of South Africa, Nigerian striker Shola Ameobi has done the opposite.

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has reportedly given up on trying to contact Ameobi, who plays for Newcastle in the English Premier League. Nigeria team spokesman Ben Alaiya said: "Shola's refusal to answer calls gave Keshi no option [but to leave him out of the squad]."

Newcastle, who were knocked out of the FA Cup by second-tier Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, were also not keen to lose Ameobi after being forced to do without Ivory Coast midfielder Cheik Tiote. Tiote is with the Ivory Coast team at the Nations Cup.

The Super Eagles have set up camp in Faro, Portugal, ahead of the Nations Cup.

Nigeria are hoping to play a warm-up game on Wednesday against Cape Verde, who will be Bafana's opening-round opponents at Soccer City on January 19.

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