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Pattaya Daily News

13 January 2010 :: 10:01:59 am 6442

Togo May Be Charged Over Withdrawal from Cup

The Togo national football team have now been officially disqualified from the African Cup of Nations, following their failure to fulfil the Monday night fixture against Ghana. This is merely a formality however, as the team had left on Sunday following orders from Togo Prime Minister Gilbert Huongbo. The Confederation of African Footballs (CAF) refusal to provide the Togo team with extra security following Friday’s tragic terrorist attack is said to be the reason behind the nation’s withdrawal.
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Angola, the 13th of January 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Despite the Togo team’s withdrawal from the competition, rumours have continued to circulate that the team are merely observing a three day period of morning for the three that were killed in the attack, before they would fly back into Angola to compete in the African Cup of Nations. However; following the forfeit of Monday nights match against Ghana the CAF has now officially disqualified Togo from the competition.

Togo Prime Minister Gilbert Huongbo further quashed the rumours by stating: “The information that has been circulated on some websites saying the players are just back for three days’ mourning and will then go back playing is quite wrong.” Huongbo revealed that he had withdrawn his nation from the competition – despite many of the player’s wishes to remain and honour the dead – due to CAF’s refusal to provide his nation with extra security. “Management did not give us enough assurance. We would leave our team being exposed to similar risks. Therefore we decided to pull our team out of the competition against our will. We received no co-operation from the Confederation in terms of any kind of assessment. Our analysis is that they want it (the shooting) to be seen as a non-event and the show must go on as planned; there mustn’t be an official change and Togo is causing problems to the festival,”
explained Huongbo.


Togo’s Alaixys Romao in a revealing interview with a leading French sports publication has been much more candid about his teams and the competitions situation, stating: “if it had been Ivory Coast or Cameroon, or if [Samuel] Eto’o or Drogba had taken a bullet, the competition would have been stopped immediately,” further stating that Ivory Coast captain and striker Didier Drogba had informed Emmanuel Adebayor – Togo striker – that he; “was not ready to play in this African Nations Cup.” Rumours suggest that Drogba wasn’t alone amongst the Ivory Coast squad, however; the nation came under intense pressure from CAF and have subsequently remained in Angola to compete.

Angolan police recently announced the arrest of two members of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda [FLEC], the group that has claimed responsibility for the murderous attacks on the Togo team buses. Rodrigues Mingas the FLEC secretary general released a statement on French television explaining; “This attack was not aimed at the Togolese players but at the Angolan forces at the head of the convoy. So it was pure chance that the gunfire hit the players. We don’t have anything to do with the Togolese and we present our condolences to the African families and the Togo Government. We are fighting for the total liberation of Cabinda.”


An anonymous member from CAF has further stated that the federation was considering taking legal action against Togo for their withdrawal from the Cup. The decision on whether charges will be laid has been put off until the end of the month, when the tournament has been completed.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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