Arsenal forward Robin van Persie has accused former teammate Emmanuel Adebayor of deliberately trying to injure him with a stamp during their English Premier League defeat to Manchester City.
Adebayor, who left Arsenal for City in July for a fee in the region of $40 million, seemed to lunge at the Dutch international who sustained a cut on the side of his head which required treatment. Match referee Mark Clattenburg did not get a clear view of the incident in a match which City won 4-2 at Eastlands and Adebayor escaped punishment following the van Persie incident, although he was booked for his goal celebration in front of the Arsenal fans after he ran the full length of the pitch. Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore has confirmed the governing body will take a “good close look” at the two incidents involving Adebayor who scored in the 80th minute. But van Persie directed his ire towards Togo international Adebayor, who spent three-and-a-half years at the Emirates Stadium before his move to City, with a statement on the official Arsenal Web site. Do you think the FA should punish Adebayor for his conduct Sound Off below “I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor’s mindless and malicious stamp on me,” van Persie said. “He set out to hurt me and I feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimeters from my eye. We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical. I, too, have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today. “I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.
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“I do feel lucky that I have not received a greater injury. The contact was only centimeters from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It’s bad for the game we all love. “I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today’s match. We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about this behavior.” Adebayor later apologized for his goal celebration in front of the Arsenal supporters as it later emerged that a match steward needed hospital treatment after being hit by a flying object in the wake of the reaction by the Gunners fans. City manager Mark Hughes called for the authorities not to come down too hard on the 25-year-old Togo international for the celebration. “We have to cut Emmanuel a bit of slack — he is an emotional guy and was caught up in the moment. It was a fantastic goal and great finish,” Hughes told the club’s Web site. “He has already apologized on camera and that is the right thing to do because obviously it can be provocative. “We just have to understand that he is an emotional guy and he wanted to share the moment with the fans in the corner with whom he has a special affinity. It is the same area that the Arsenal fans were in so there is the potential for people to see it as the wrong thing to do. We recognize that and so does Ade.”