Emmanuel Adebayor has attempted to defend himself after being heavily criticised for revealing he will not donate to help health services in Togo battle coronavirus.
The former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham striker stated that he has no plans to use his money to help those attempting to stop the pandemic and he expressed a desire to be able to do as he pleases with his wealth.
Adebayor was earning as much as £175,000 a week while at the Etihad Stadium and has amassed millions across the span of his professional career.
But, while currently isolating back in his native Togo, Adebayor doubled down on his no donation stance as the former captain of the national team dismissed the notion of responsibility on his shoulders to use his money to help against COVID-19.
The country, at the time of writing, has 88 confirmed COVID-19 cases and six people have died from the virus.
Across the entire continent, the health care systems are not as strong as the ones in the UK or USA and Simon Antara, of the African Field Epidemiology Network, explained: ‘We are preparing for disaster.’
But despite the warnings, Adebayor is ‘very clear’ that he will not donate.
‘For those of you who say I don’t donate, let me be very clear, I don’t donate. It is very simple,’ Adebayor said in a Facebook Live video, as reported by Marca.
‘I do what I want and eat what I want. Later, there will be people who will criticise me for the fact that I did not make a donation in Lome (capital of Togo).’
Adebayor has previously gone above and beyond to help those in need back in his native Togo, committing to improving the lives of children back home.
In 2017, he generously revealed he was to financially support 90 children in Togo for an entire year.
He has been seen touring the country and visiting cities like Kara, a northern spot in Togo where he played a match and donated food and school supplies to impoverished children.
‘Some think that I was the one who introduced the virus in Lome,’ he added. ‘It is very unfortunate, but this country is like that.’
Fellow African footballers have stepped up to help their countries with coronavirus beginning to take hold on the continent.
Former Barcelona forward Samuel Eto’o is promising supplies to 100,000 people in his home country of Cameroon.
The retired 39-year-old will donate face masks, hand sanitisers, soaps and food through his Samuel Eto’o foundation.
The vital supplies will be sent to 50,000 households across four cities in the African nation – Douala, Buea, Yaounde and Bafoussam.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea star Didier Drogba has offered his hospital in Ivory Coast to be used as a coronavirus treatment centre.
‘They can compare me to Drogba, they can compare me to Eto’o, but unfortunately I am not them,’ he concluded.
‘I am Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor and I will always do what I want.’