London, April 26: Emmanuel Adebayor has claimed that racist abuse from supporters of his former club motivated his infamous celebration for Manchester City against Arsenal.
The Togo international left Emirates Stadium after the 2008-09 season and inspired a 4-2 win for City against Arsene Wenger's side in the early weeks of the following campaign, scoring the third goal before running the full length of the pitch and sliding in front of the Gunners fans with his arms outstretched.
He was later fined £25,000 and given a suspended two-match ban for his actions but has now claimed that chants from the Gunners supporters concerning his parents' background led him to celebrate as he did.
"I remember getting to the stadium and Arsenal fans were there," he told Sportsmail.
"All I heard was the chant - my father worked in currency exchange and my mother is a businesswoman. But this went on and on. So how can I reply? I didn't have a voice to go against thousands of supporters.
"If a sniper shot me, he would not have struck me down. I was in my spiritual zone.
"Kolo Toure said to me: 'I was looking at the pictures and you did not flinch once.' I did not feel human anymore. The abuse was too much. I was ready to die. I just looked at them and thought: 'there are things you do not do'.
"It is why I have not said anything about racism the past few weeks. When I celebrated, the FA fined me, they punished me. Nothing happened to the Arsenal fans. So it started with me and long before me."