Emmanuel Adebayor insists he “can’t regret” stamping on Robin van Persie because he did not intend to hurt his former Arsenal teammate.
The Football Association have hit Adebayor with a three-match ban for violent conduct following an incident in Manchester City’s 4-2 win over Arsenal last weekend.
The Togo international caught Van Persie in the head during the second half, but continues to protest his innocence by stressing he did not intend to hurt his ex-strike partner.
“I am sorry Robin got hurt, but I can’t regret something I did not mean to do,” Adebayor told The Sun.
“Anybody who knows me knows I would not set out to hurt anybody and I would especially not mean to hurt an old team-mate.
“I really am glad Robin was OK because I know my stud was close to his eye, but there was really nothing I could have done – there was no way I could have got out of the way in time.”
The forward has also been charged with improper conduct by the FA after running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal fans after scoring City’s third goal.
Adebayor has explained his celebration was a response to the abuse he had received from the travelling support and concedes he could not take any more.
He added: “People talk about us as being football players and the money we earn, but just because we are fortunate it does not mean we need to take abuse.
“If you were to abuse a man in the street for over an hour he would react and it would be a worse reaction than a goal celebration!
“There is only so much abuse a man can take until he reaches breaking point.
“I was being abused by people who six months ago were singing my name and the abuse was for no reason.
“I scored and I wanted to show people it is not a good idea to abuse me. I really didn’t understand it at all.
“I was running on pure emotion and when you take emotion out of football we are going to have a big problem.
“People say I had time to think because I ran the length of the pitch, but that is not true.
“I was abused all match and scored a goal I knew would win the game for us. Ten seconds is nothing. Your emotion is going to last a lot longer than that.”
Adebayor also claims some of his old team-mates did not shake his hand before kick-off, commenting: “There were players from Arsenal who refused to shake my hand before the match.
“I don’t want to give you their names – that is not my style – but there’s more than one of them.
“My friends, like Eboue, were fine with me. They are decent people. But I could not understand some of the Arsenal players being disrespectful towards me.”