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Adebayor Denies Reports He Was Smoking And Drinking In Lyon

Emmanuel Adebayor has denied reports that originated from a website that his move to Lyon collapsed because he smoked and drank whisky during a meeting with the French club's coach.

Usually I do not comment on any transfer negotiations or speculation but this time certain matters need to be cleared up, Adebayor said.

Out of contract since the end of his deal with Crystal Palace last season, Adebayor, 32, flew to Lyon last Friday to meet OL boss Bruno Genesio.

The former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur striker was widely expected to sign a short-term contract with the seven-time Ligue 1 champions only for Lyon to pull out citing his ineligibility for the Champions League and his two-month absence to play for Togo in next year's African Nations Cup.

Adebayor responded to Lyon's reasoning by stating it was "a ridiculous excuse." 

That was then followed by the appearance of fictitious quotes purportedly from Genesio and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas on spoof website Football France in which it was claimed Adebayor had blown his chances of a transfer by smoking and drinking alcohol during his face-to-face with Genesio.

The quotes were picked up by a number of major European media outlets and taken seriously, leading Adebayor to release a statement on Thursday.

Lyon wanted to sign me and offered to pay for a private jet from Togo to bring me to Lyon in order for me to sign ahead of their game against Marseille, Adebayor added. 

The contract was all agreed and I was merely flying in to complete a medical and sign the paperwork.

Unfortunately I could not get there in time to be registered for their game and they signed another young striker instead. They still asked if I could come and speak to the manager and director of football in order to establish if it would be possible to sign us both.

We all had a perfectly amicable meeting in Lyon but the coach felt it was not fair on the young player's development to sign us both and I felt I would not get the requisite game time I needed to make this opportunity worthwhile.

For the avoidance of doubt I only drank water at this meeting and did not ask for whisky or have a cigarette.

The Football France website -- not to be confused with France Football, the magazine that established the Ballon d'Or award -- also claimed Adebayor had asked for a helicopter to go to training, that world-renowned chef Joel Robuchon cook for him personally, and demanded a villa with a swimming pool overlooking Corsica, which is more than 700 kilometres (430 miles) away.


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