Emmanuel Adebayor explains why he did THAT celebration against Arsenal
Former Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed that racist insults from Arsenal fans provided the backdrop to his famous celebration against his former club.
The Togo international left the Gunners for City in 2009 and scored against the north London club soon after, sprinting the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of travelling Gunners after scoring in a 4-2 win for the Citizens.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail (opens in new tab), the 35-year-old Istanbul Basaksehir front man revealed the shocking context behind an iconic moment in Premier League history.
“This is the thing,” he said. “And it's why I haven't said anything about racism the past few weeks. When I celebrated, the FA fined me, they punished me. Nothing happened to the Arsenal fans. So it [racism] started with me and long before me.
“I remember getting to the stadium and Arsenal fans were there. All I heard was the the chant, 'Your mother is a whore and your father washes elephants.'
“My father worked in currency exchange and my mother is a businesswoman. But this went on and on. So how can I reply? I didn't have a voice to go against thousands of supporters.
“And now the same FA are trying to stop racism? I'm sorry. It doesn't work that way. Today is too late. We're tired. Enough is enough.
“I see Mario Balotelli and Didier Drogba on Instagram. How many times do we have to post something? We have to react. We have to leave the pitch.”
He added: “If a sniper shot me, he would not have struck me down.
“I was in my spiritual zone. Kolo Toure said to me: 'I was looking at the pictures and you didn't flinch once.' I didn't feel human anymore. The abuse was too much. I was ready to die. I just looked at them and thought, 'There are things you don't do.''
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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.