Monday, April 12, 2010

PLN 23

I just read "Emmanuel Adebayor retires from Togo international duty" in the BBC News about how the Manchester City and Togo striker, 26 year old Emmanuel Adebayor, has announced his retirement from international football (soccer). His decision comes three months after the attack on the Togo team bus during this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Three people were killed in the gun fire. A statement from Adebayor: "Following those tragic events... I have made the very difficult decision to retire from international football. I am still haunted by the events I witnessed on that horrible afternoon. I have weighed up my feelings in the weeks and months since the attack. We were just footballers going to play a football match and represent our country, yet we were attacked by people who wanted to kill us all. It is a moment I will never forget and one I never want to experience again." Adebayor has represented Togo for nine years and has both great memories and bad ones, including the incident in Angola. This is what he had to say about the coach, "The people who were on that coach together will forever be joined by a special bond - we are all brothers." Two Togolese officials and an Angolan bus driver were killed in the attack which prompted the Togolese government to pull their team out of the event. This led to Togo being handed a four-year ban from competing in the competition, a sanction over which they are currently in an appeal process over.

This matters to the world of sports because Adebayor is a top class footballer and he is walking away from representing his country and captaining his team. Not only is it important to honor your country and play, but to be a captain for your country is a huge opportunity and a once in a lifetime chance. This matters to me because I am a big fan of Adebayor and I just do not think someone as young as him should be walking away from the game you love. He is basically walking out on his country and I do not think that this is a wise decision by him.

There are many people out there that could help him try to get over this event or at least become more comfortable with it. It doesn't seem to me that he is really trying to get help. However, in the end it is his life and his choice. If he doesn't feel safe enough to play in his own country, and feels that strongly about it, then how can we judge.

This also reminds me of my Dad and what he and others went through at Columbine H.S. There are not many teachers left that were there that day because they also couldn't handle it. Those that are left will also have that bond that Adebayor talks about.

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