Swazis must heed Abebayor's warning

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Swaziland hosts Togo in the first leg of the two-legged qualifiers at the Somhlolo National Stadium.

Adebayor, undoubtedly one of Africa’s biggest sporting names, who is plying his trade with England’s Premiership side Arsenal, has declared his desire to lead the ‘Hawks’, as the Togo national team is known to what he has termed a “journey of hope” to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals scheduled for South Africa.

In an interview with Fifa.com, the towering striker who was voted 2007 BBC African Footballer of the Year did not mince his words.

“The whole of Togo went crazy when we qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals because of the pride it brought to our small country. Qualifying for an African World Cup will be the greatest and I know the fans in my country will go even crazier.

“No one knows when the next World Cup will be held in Africa again, so I definitely don’t want to miss it. We are going out to fight in Group 11 and we are certain we’ll make it,” vowed the Togolese striker who ably stepped into Thierry Henry’s big boots this season at Arsenal with 24 goals.

Adebayor, who was instrumental in bringing Togo to their first Fifa World Cup in Germany in 2006, said perhaps, the fact that the World Cup will be staged in Africa; maybe an African country will win it for the first time history.

Togo is facing Zambia this weekend in Accra, Ghana, in a home game that will be played in the neighbouring state to the Togo because of a Caf home ground ban following violence scenes that erupted during one of their home games early this year.

Sihlangu, who failed to win a single game under sacked Swiss coach Raoul Savoy, hopes to turn the tide with South African born mentor ‘Shakes’ Mashaba at the helm.

The squad is currently at fulltime camp and training at the Somhlolo National Stadium.

They are to play Bafana Bafana in an international tie on Thursday.

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