Shamed Star Adebayor: What Did I Do Wrong?

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Under-fire soccer star Emmanuel Adebayor last night said: “I don’t know what I’ve done wrong” – despite sparking weekend scenes that shamed football.

Fans of the Manchester City striker’s former club Arsenal clashed with police and stewards after he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate his 80th-minute goal in front of them.

He faced widespread calls for a ban after the “horrific” crowd surge, in which a steward was said to have been knocked out by a flying drinks bottle.

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Adebayor, who left the Gunners for City in a £25million summer transfer, was also blasted by ex-team-mate Robin van Persie, who accused the Togo international of STAMPING on his face.

Greater Manchester Police and the Football Association have launched investigations into the ugly events which marred Saturday’s Premier League clash at Eastlands.

Football insiders believe 26-year-old Adebayor, who earns about £180,000 a week, will be slapped with TWO three-match bans if he is found guilty over both incidents.

The 6ft 3in ace insisted: “I don’t know what I have done wrong to get banned.

“I have not heard the police or FA want to talk to me. The club have not said anything.”

Adebayor, who faced jeers throughout the match, added: “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?”

Cops are treating the incident with the steward as assault.

And FA chiefs will this morning begin a probe into Adebayor’s celebrations, which came after he scored City’s third goal in their 4-2 win.

He will also be investigated over the incident with van Persie.

Greater Manchester Police last night confirmed Adebayor’s goal celebration provoked the away fans.

A spokesman said: “A player in a goal celebration caused the opposition fans to be aggravated.

“There was a crowd surge. An object has been thrown and caught a steward and knocked him out.

“We have not arrested anyone for that. It’s down to the club, ground security and FA whether they want to take the incident any further.

“It must have been quite horrific for the stewards at the time.

“It was not the player throwing the missile, but the fans were reacting to him and his celebration.

“Arsenal fans were throwing the missiles, but it is a Manchester City player doing the celebrating.”

Adebayor headed home to put City 3-1 up before running to the visiting Arsenal fans at the other end of the ground, dropping to his knees and sliding across the turf with his arms outstretched.

They responded by rushing down the stadium’s stairwells, grappling with stewards and hurling objects including a CHAIR.

According to the police, the steward was knocked out after being hit on the head by a half-full bottle of Coke or Sprite.

The force spokesman added: “The steward received a head injury from a flying object which appeared to have been thrown from the direction of the away end.

“We were told the steward was unconscious for a few seconds before being taken to hospital and discharged.”

A Manchester City spokeswoman denied the steward was knocked out, but confirmed he had been hit by a bottle.

Dutchman van Persie released a statement after the final whistle, saying he was “sad and disappointed” by his former team-mate’s “mindless and malicious stamp”.

He added: “He had his own agenda and that is bad for football. It’s bad for the game we all love. He has shown a real lack of class to me and the fans.”

Speaking after the game, Adebayor apologised for celebrating in front of Arsenal fans in the 43,000 crowd.

He said: “The emotion took over me. Now I just have to say sorry.”

Responding to the claims he stamped on van Persie, 26, he added: “I was trying to kick the ball.

“My feet touch his head. After the game I saw him and said sorry, but he didn’t want to speak to me.”

FA chief executive Ian Watmore, who was at the game, said: “I was unimpressed due to the problems between the Arsenal fans and Adebayor.

“We will look at it on Monday and bring it to the disciplinary process.

“Our team will take a good look at both incidents.”

Police made six arrests after the game for a range of offences including assault, drunken disorder and possession of drugs.

The Sun

~ by footballdirecta on September 14, 2009.

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