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Sep 14, 2009

Adebayor: I don't know what I have done wrong

Emmanuel Adebayor is adamant he is not deserving of a ban despite the FA pledging to investigate his controversial behaviour during Manchester City's 4-2 victory over Arsenal on Saturday afternoon.

The striker, who joined City from Arsenal for £25m over the summer, infuriated his former fans when scoring with a header and sprinting the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of them, sparking angry scenes amongst the visiting support. Missiles were thrown onto the pitch and a steward required medical treatment.

Adebayor also angered former team-mate Robin van Persie when appearing to stamp on his opponent, with the Dutchman releasing a statement following the game which accused the City striker of "mindless and malicious" behaviour.

It is expected that Adebayor will be charged with violent conduct as a result of the Van Persie incident and the FA could also impose an additional punishment for the nature of his celebration. But Adebayor, who has apologised on both counts, is hoping to avoid punishment.

The FA has until 6pm on Tuesday to charge the striker.

"I don't know what I have done wrong to get banned," Adebayor told the Sun. "I have not heard the police or FA want to talk to me. The club have not said anything. I heard that a steward was injured and I regret that. I have apologised to Robin Van Persie.

"It was silly to run up in front of the Arsenal fans. But these people have been insulting me all game. Even in the warm-up they were insulting me. They were saying things that are not nice to hear, personal things.

"I didn't plan it, not at all. I didn't even know that I would score. The way things were going from the warm-up, at the end it came into my head. I would like to apologise to the steward for what happened, why not?"

Mark Hughes has asked that Adebayor be forgiven after his goal celebration, though. "We have to cut Emmanuel a bit of slack. He is an emotional guy and was caught up in the moment. It was a fantastic goal and great finish. He has already apologised on camera and that is the right thing to do because obviously it can be provocative."

The manager added that there was no malice in the tackle on Van Persie. "Emmanuel Adebayor sustained a tremendous amount of personal abuse from the kick-off but strongly maintains that there was no malice intended in the challenge on Robin Van Persie and apologised to him when he hugged him on leaving the field of play at the end of the game,'' he said on City's official website.

"The referee had a great view of the challenge from Ade and the one that preceeded it by Van Persie and deemed at the time that neither were worthy of either a yellow or red card.

"We expect high standards of behaviour from our players and it is easy in the cold light of day, when the adrenalin has died down, to talk about what players should and shouldn't do in that situation. Ade again immediately apologised but we know the FA will be reviewing the matter."

Greater Manchester police, however, have blamed Adebayor for the chain of events that led to a steward being knocked unconscious.

"The player's goal celebration caused the opposition fans to be aggravated and there was a crowd surge," a police spokesman said. "One of the objects that were thrown caught a steward and knocked him out. It's the decision of the club, the ground security and the FA now whether they want to take the incident any further, but it must have been quite horrific for all the stewards at the time."

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