LOME - Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor turned down the chance to come out of international retirement on Wednesday, saying he would not face Malawi despite being named in the squad for the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier.
Adebayor quit international football last April, explaining he was haunted by events at the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola where his team's bus was ambushed.
"I did not make promises that I am returning to the squad for the game in Malawi," the BBC quoted Adebayor as saying after he was named in a 22-man squad for Saturday's match.
"If I was heading for the game in Malawi I would have long gone... I have just finished training with Real Madrid and I am not returning to the Togo squad for the game."
The Togo Football Federation (TFF) had hoped former captain Adebayor, on loan at Real Madrid from Manchester City, would join the national team for the game.
"It's important that he returns to the team. Steps are being made in the right direction (for Adebayor to) show his patriotism," TFF president Gabriel Ameyi was quoted as saying by www.togofootballnews.com.
"He has told me to send the invitation. That's what we did."
The TFF has put former coach Stephen Keshi in temporary charge for Saturday's match, with Ameyi telling Reuters the search would then begin for a permanent successor to Frenchman Thierry Froger, who resigned earlier this month.
"Keshi, of course, may apply if he wishes," Ameyi said.
It is the third time Keshi has taken the reins, having also engineered their surprise qualification for the 2006 World Cup finals.
He lost his job before that tournament after clashing with Adebayor in front of reporters at the 2006 Nations Cup in Egypt.