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Emmanuel Adebayor Opens Up About Loss Of Personal Press Officer

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Jan 13, 2010

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Togo International and Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed that the his own personal press officer (doubling as the team’s press officer during the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations) passed away in his arms during the machine gun bus attack in Angola.

Via Guardian

“It is very difficult because our press officer, who was my personal press officer, died in my hands,” he said. “Until now that is the worst image I have had in my life. I always hear people say [you think] somebody is going to die in your hands and at the end that person survives. But I had the press officer in my hands to his last respiration and he passed away in my hands, so you can imagine it is very difficult.

“I will not be able to be on the pitch. Me standing on the pitch at the moment would be the worst thing I could do because I am not 100% yet. I have to start training first and recover first from what happened and play football. At the moment my head is not on football because you are talking about human beings’ lives. I will take my time and come back on the pitch at the right time. My boss [City’s manager, Roberto Mancini] and my team understand that; that is the most important thing. They know I need time to recover from this.”

The Togo assistant manager and the bus driver were also killed in the attack in the Angolan exclave of Cabinda and Adebayor has returned to his country for three days of official mourning.

“At the moment I’m just weak and, as you can see, I am sweating every day and every day that God makes at the moment I can’t even eat, I am losing weight. It is very difficult for everyone,” Adebayor said.

“I appreciate what we are doing at the moment but my head is not on what we are scoring – my head is with the families that have lost their people,” Adebayor said. “I’m just going to stay at home with all of my Togo team-mates. We are all together as one and fighting so that everyone can be a little bit free in their head.”

Adebayor was wearing a City top as he addressed the television cameras, a day after he gave an interview wearing an Arsenal polo shirt. He explained that he had borrowed the Arsenal shirt from his brother after running away from the ambushed bus and leaving all his luggage behind. “I did not realise what I was wearing,” he said. Following the trauma, he said, “in our heads we don’t even know what we are doing”.

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