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 By Ian Holyman

Emmanuel Adebayor: I rejected Lyon move to play in African Nations Cup

Emmanuel Adebayor said he rejected Lyon to play in the African Nations Cup.

Emmanuel Adebayor has told AFP he rejected a move to Lyon in order to be able to play for Togo at the African Nations Cup.

Adebayor, who has been without a club since leaving Crystal Palace at the end of last season, is captaining his country at the tournament in Gabon.

The striker would have missed more than a month of the Ligue 1 season if Togo were to reach the final on Feb. 5 -- and with Lyon unhappy about that prospect, he did not complete the move.

"I rejected the contract offered by Lyon to be able to represent my country," Adebayor said.

"They asked me if I counted on going to the ANC, and I said yes. They said: 'Well, it's going to be difficult' and I said: 'I have to go and defend the colours of my country.'

"There was no reason not to go to the ANC. Even if the best club in the world says: 'Come tomorrow!', I won't go."

After the former Manchester City player had met Lyon coach Bruno Genesio, the French champions released a statement saying Adebayor's decision to play in the ANC had been a major factor behind them not signing him.

But speaking in Setpember, Adebayor said: "That's nonsense. They came to me after we had qualified, so they knew I was going to play.

"OL spoke to Claude Le Roy, my coach with Togo, and they didn't ask for special treatment. This was absolutely never a reason there was no deal."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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