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Pattaya Daily News

09 January 2010 :: 15:01:14 pm 5784

Togo National Football Team Attacked in Angola

The Togo national football team bus has been attacked by machinegun fire whilst traveling to the African Cup of Nations Tournament being held in Angola.
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Africa, the 8th of January 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The Togo national football team bus, carrying several world-class footballers – including Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor – has been attacked by suspected separatist rebels in the disputed Angolan territory of Cabinda. The driver of the bus was killed in the attack which also saw nine others injured, including two national team players.

The attack, two days before the commencement of the heavily supported African Cup of Nations football tournament has cast shadows on the security measure in place for the competition. A report from within the Togo national team stated that the country was considering withdrawing from the tournament if security was not stepped up.


It is believed that the bus – travelling with a police escort – had been raked by machinegun fire as it crossed into the disputed oil-rich Angolan territory of Cabinda.
The separatist Front for the Liberation of Enclave of Cabinda is suspected to have carried out the attack.

Manchester City star striker Emmanuel Adebayor said last night that Togo could leave the tournament, telling the BBC: “If the security is not sure then we will be leaving tomorrow. I don’t think they (the players) will be ready to give their life.” Team-mate, Thomas Dossevi stated that the injured players were Kodjovi Obilale (reserve goalkeeper for French side GSI Pontivy) and Serge Akakpo, (defender for Romanian outfit Vaslui).


Dossevi stated to the press: “We had just crossed the border five minutes before — we were surrounded by police buses, one in front of us another behind. Everything was fine and then there was a powerful burst of gunfire. Everyone threw themselves under the seats and tried to protect themselves but some couldn’t escape the bullets.”

The Angolan minister responsible for the region of Cabinda has stated: “This was an act of terrorism that is being dealt with as we speak.” In yet more controversy it has been reported that instructions given out to the 16 nations participating in the competition stipulated that the teams should fly into the country so as to avoid such security risks. The Confederation of African Football has insisted that the tournament would still go ahead despite the attack.
Togo is scheduled to play their first Group B match against Ghana on Monday in Cabinda. Togo midfielder, Alaixys Romao led calls for the team to pull out of the 16-nation tournament, saying: “We’ve got players wounded [and] members of staff. We just want to go back home.”

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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