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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

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Adebayor set to play at Nations Cup

Emmanuel Adebayor appears certain to represent Togo at the African Nations Cup in South Africa later this month after having said it was unlikely he would do so amid a row over player security.

Last month, Adebayor, 29, had said there was only a "5% chance" that he would play in the tournament.

The Togo national captain said he remained in fear of his safety two years after the Togo team bus was ambushed by gunmen at the African Nations Cup in Angola. He denied claims by Togo officials that he did not want to play because of a dispute over unpaid bonuses.

Three people were killed in the Angola ambush, and Adebayor said he feared that the lessons of that day had not been learned.

But it now appears certain that he will play in South Africa - a decision that will leave Jermaine Defoe as Tottenham's only recognised striker during his absence.

He travelled to Ghana to link up with the Togo squad at their training camp, but could yet return to the UK to play in his club's match against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

On Monday, Gabriel Ameyi, the president of the Togolese Football Association, was reported as saying that Adebayor would be leading the side when the tournament began.

"Of course we will go to the competition with Adebayor," he was reported to have told Algerian radio. "We will all be together in South Africa. It is very important to have him because he is our player and team captain."

Adebayor, who has scored three times in 17 appearances for Tottenham this season, was praised by boss Andre Villas-Boas after he scored in the recent win over Reading at White Hart Lane.

Villas-Boas had said his original unlikeliness to travel to South Africa was a big boost for Spurs, adding: "We'll probably have the player here in January, which is a massive boost - it gives me other options and possibilities."

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