Wenger slams players recall

2010-01-11 07:15
Arsene Wenger (File)
Johannesburg - Arsene Wenger has questioned fellow Premier League bosses' motivation for calling for their players to return from the African Nations Cup over security concerns.

The Arsenal manager will not be asking for Gunners duo Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue to be called back following Friday's attack on the Togo team bus which left three people dead.

Togo, captained by former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, have decided to pull out of the tournament after the gunmen opened fire just after the team had crossed the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the Angolan enclave of Cabinda.

A host of Premier League clubs have players at the African continental championship.

Adebayor and the rest of the Togo team will be returning home, while Hull boss Phil Brown confirmed he wants his two players in Angola - Gabon striker Daniel Cousin and Nigeria midfielder Seyi Olofinjana - to come back to England.

Chelsea have four players - Ivory Coast duo Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, Ghana's Michael Essien and Nigeria's John Mikel Obi - in Angola, while relegation battlers Portsmouth have several members of their squad at the competition.

It is not yet clear what stance world governing body FIFA will take on the issue should individual federations allow their players to leave Angola and return to domestic competition.

Wenger, though, feels any such decisions must be taken for the right reasons.

"It wouldn't be fair, let's say that," said the Arsenal manager.

"What is behind things like that? Is it a selfish motivation or is it a real issue over security?

"We, here, are not in the best position to judge the security of this competition."

Wenger continued: "If you organise the European Championships and you have an incident like that - it can happen, and has happened already - you do not want all your players suddenly to move home.

"International competition is international competition.

"When you hear sometimes there's unrest in the suburbs of London, you still live well in London.

"When I speak to my friends in France, they ask me: 'Is a revolution happening in London?' It's the same in Paris.

"You immediately think it's a revolution everywhere. It's not always the case.

"You have to judge the place, whether the competition can go on or not, and I don't know (the intricacies). I don't like this culture of fear, either. I hate that."

Adebayor left Arsenal in the summer, and City have said they will give the Togo striker as long as he needs.

Wenger reflected: "I think they will be touched, the boys who were on the bus.

"Of course, that will stay with them for a while." 

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