News of Attakora's release appear to be a hoax

TORONTO – Nana Attakora didn’t realize that calling in sick would cause so much confusion.

The Toronto FC defender was feeling under the weather on Tuesday and begged off training. His absence caused a false report to circulate that he had been released by the club.

With the rumor quickly spreading on fan message boards and through Twitter – and the club not responding to calls from reporters – Attakora feared the worst. When contacted Tuesday morning, he said he had yet to hear anything official from TFC after seeing the report spread on Twitter.

It took about an hour for things to get straightened out, but in the end it appeared to be a false alarm. The report that was the genesis of the rumor was retracted and Attakora went back to assuming that all was fine.

“I’m not surprised,” he told Canadian Soccer News on Tuesday afternoon with a laugh, lightly chastising the media. “It happens all the time with you guys.”

Toronto FC declined to comment on the apparent miscommunication when contacted by MLSsoccer.com. However, sources close to the club say there are no immediate plans to release Attakora.

What gave the story credibility was that Attakora has struggled this year after seemingly breaking through in 2010. Along with Adrian Cann, the Toronto-area native started the majority of games for TFC in 2010 and had become a fan favorite as the last remaining player to have played for the Reds during their expansion year of 2007.

Earlier this season, Attakora was pulled from back to back games by new head coach Aron Winter. The coach said after that the 22-year-old was “not in the game.”

For his part, Attakora told MLSsoccer.com that he was dealing with some “personal issues” that were distracting him from playing at his best. However, he said that he had moved on from those issues and was concentrating on winning his starting position back.

His contract status is also up in the air, with attempts to extend it rejected by the player this past offseason. He is under contract until the end of this season.