LOME, Togo, June 20- Togo skipper Emmanuel Adebayor on Sunday mourned the “great loss to African football” of Stephen Keshi, the former Nigerian international and coach who died from a heart attack at the age of 54 earlier this month.
Crystal Palace striker Adebayor was playing in an exhibition game in Lome organised to pay homage to Keshi, who coached Togo to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.
Keshi, also a former skipper of Nigeria, won the Africa Cup of Nations as a player in 1994 and coach in 2013.
“I knew Keshi when I was very young. He taught me a lot in my career. His death is a great loss to African football,” Adebayor told AFP.
Around 8,000 fans watched Sunday’s game which began with a rousing minute’s applause in honour of Keshi, who died on June 8.
“Keshi is a man I will never forget. He taught us about discipline in the squad and he made us a force at the time,” added former Togo captain Jean-Paul Abalo Dosseh.
Keshi coached Togo to the 2006 World Cup but was sacked on the eve of the competition. He returned briefly to the job in 2010.