Togo team ordered to go home

2010-01-10 16:27
Kodjovi Obilale (AFP)
Luanda - Togo's government is sticking by its decision to recall the national football team from the Africa Cup of Nations after a deadly attack, despite the players' wish to play, a government minister said Sunday.

"The government is maintaining its decision to call the team back home," administration minister and government spokesperson Pascal Bodjona told AFP.

Hours before the competition starts on Sunday, players said they wanted to stay in Angola.

"In memory of the dead, the national team has decided to play in the Africa Cup of Nations," Thomas Dossevi, who plays for French side Nantes, told AFP.

But Bodjona said "the best thing to do is not to stay".

"People are dead. The goalkeeper (Kodjovi) Obilale is in intensive care," he said.

Hooded gunmen opened fire on the teams' buses as they crossed into the restive Angolan enclave of Cabinda, killing the assistant coach and squad spokesperson.

The attack was claimed by a faction of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) separatist group embroiled in a struggle for independence in the oil-rich territory.

In earlier reports it was stated that the prime minister of Togo, Gilbert Houngbo, on Sunday ordered the national football team to immediately return home from the Africa Cup of Nations after a deadly attack.

"If there is a team or persons present under the banner of Togo at the opening of the African Nations Cup this afternoon, it will be a false representation. The team must return today," he told reporters.

"We understand the position of the players who want to in some way avenge their dead colleagues, but it would be irresponsible for the Togolese authorities to allow them to continue," he added.

"The team must come home. The government's decision is unchanged."

Read more on:    afcon

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.