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07.06.2008 Football News

Adebayor Promises Support For African Football

By Our Correspondent -
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Togo football icon, Emmanuel Adebayor, has promised to contribute enormously to support the development of African football to a higher pedestal.

The Arsenal striker said: 'I will do all within my reach to assist in the development of African football for the future'.

Adebayor who received the BBC African Footballer of Year 2007 at an awards gala in Lome on Tuesday said the future belongs to the youth, hence supporting them will aid to giving a reasonable meaning to their lives.

Sheyi, as he is affectionately called, said it is on this premise that he has organised a tour of three West African countries dubbed 'tour of hope' in his quest to become an agent of hope and positive change in the lives of the millions of the youth.

Adebayor who outdoored this vision in an interaction with the media in Lome on Wednesday said the tour consists of Ghana, Togo and Nigeria with the focus on orphans and street children.

'These children are the potential future leaders and should be accorded all the necessary support and guidance to enable them realise their goals.'

The Arsenal hitman paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, last Wednesday and expressed shock at the rousing welcome accorded him by the people of Kumasi.

Whilst there, he took part in an U-15 game for kids after which he paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene, where he unveiled his plans to support his educational fund set up to assist the needy in society.

Adebayor said he would replicate a similar gesture in Warri, Nigeria when he ends his tour with a participation in the Testimonial game of former Super Eagles captain Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha scheduled for June 26.

The tall, lanky star, also showered praise on all who voted for him to become the first ever Togolese winner of the BBC African football awards scheme initiated some years ago.

He beat Ghana midfielder Michael Essien and Ivorian striker Didier Drogba to the title which the former won in 2006.

Dressed in an all black attire, the Arsenal striker moved to the dais assisted by some relatives, officials of Togo Football Federation (TFF) and national team, Hawks, and received the award from Farayi Mungazi, Editor in Chief of BBC Sports Desk.

In his acceptance speech, Adebayor expressed gratitude to all who have contributed immensely to the success in his football career.

'I thank all who have made this dream come true,' said the 24-year old, who was also honoured as the Best Togolese footballer abroad in 2007.

Earlier in an address, Mungazi said the awards scheme initiated some years ago has grown to become one of the most prestigious on the continent.

'It is a unique award because, it is decided by fans', he said, adding that Adebayor whom he described as one the finest footballers of the modern era was a worthy winner.

Foussena Djagba, Managing Director of Zed Sports International, portrayed the Arsenal player as a role model to the youth of Africa and appealed for support for his programmes to assist the youth.

She also expressed her outfit’s commitment to the promotion of sports on the continent.

Former Black Stars midfielder, Nii Odartey Lamptey was presented with a special recognition award as well as the BBC for the laudable initiative.

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