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Togos' Football National Team Was Attacked

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Disgusting, backwards decision that does nothing but show African football (and Africa) in a bad light. I will not be watching the final tomorrow as planned and nor should any right thinking person. An absolute joke of a confederation.


Still, at least the top players like Adabayor won't have to worry about this Tinpot trophy for two years and can instead pay their full attention to meaningful matches in the Premier League.

It's time top players gave up on this tournament. Most of the stadiums have been half empty, the safety of players couldn't be guarunteed and a team has now been punished after having suffered a terrorist attack. FIFA, have some balls and suspend all African teams from international fooball until this decision is reversed!

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And one final thing:

I've argued that anyone worrying about security in South Africa 2010 in light of the terrorist attack in Angola is wrong. I've argued South Africa 2010 shouldn't be tainted by a terrorist attack in another country. I still believe that.

I can't say the same about this (sorry Mo). The confederation whose continent is hosting the World Cup has made a heartless decision which reflects badly on Afrcia's ability to govern the game on its continent. I sincerely hope this causes international outrage and hope it reflects badly on Afrcian football in this world cup year. Maybe if that's the case, the decision will be reversed.

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I am shocked, appalled and disgusted at this senseless, brainless and utterly inhumane decision. FIFA must step in immediately. The African Confederation has just brought itself into serious disrepute, which can only be resolved by this outrage being reversed forthwith.

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Togo will appeal against their ban from the next two Africa Cup of Nations following their withdrawal from this year’s tournament in Angola two days before the competition kicked off.

The Togolese are reeling from the ban and £30,000 fine issued by the Confederation of African Football for the walk-out after a gun attack on their team bus which left two members of their delegation and a coach driver dead.

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Aston Villa’s Mustapha Salifou escaped unharmed but several other players suffered gunshot wounds.

Midfielder Thomas Dossevi was horrified by the ban and said: ‘We are a group of footballers who came under fire and now we can’t play football any more.

'They are crushing us. When we said we were going home for a three-day mourning they said they were with us in this ordeal and now they punish us.’

A statement from CAF said they were compelled to follow their rules, but added: ‘We repeat our profound sympathy to the families of the victims of the tragic attack. CAF has condemned the attack and denounced the act of terrorism.’

Egypt, meanwhile, are aiming to prove they are the best team in Africa by beating Ghana in today’s final. Egypt failed to qualify for the World Cup finals but if they win in Angola they will have seen off four countries who are on their way to South Africa.


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It's time top players gave up on this tournament. Most of the stadiums have been half empty, the safety of players couldn't be guarunteed and a team has now been punished after having suffered a terrorist attack. FIFA, have some balls and suspend all African teams from international fooball until this decision is reversed!

It's an utterly outrageous decision indeed. But you want to punish those who made that decision by punishing even more African football teams with a suspension from international football? Come on!

In this case, only excluding CAF officials from FIFA meetings or other sanctions against the CAF executive would be the appropriate reaction. But certainly not punishing more African football players.

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It's an utterly outrageous decision indeed. But you want to punish those who made that decision by punishing even more African football teams with a suspension from international football? Come on!

No, I don't want to punish teams. But CAF wouldn't let it get that far. By threatening a sanction against African football generally FIFA can show they understand the world's outrage at this decision, distance themselves from it, and force a quick reversal. No teams would actually be banned because CAF would be under such immense pressure, in this world cup year, to reverse the decision that they'd do it bloody quickly.

FIFA needs to make it clear this is outrageous, heartless and utterly disgusting and if threat of harsh sanctiobns against Afrcian football makes that point, then that's not a bad way to go.

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Oh, and another thing. How dumb were they to announce this decision the day before the final? <_< The tournament was overshadowed by the attack, the final is now overshadowed (to the extent where I and others I've spoken to have no desire to watch it anymore) by this decision. Heartless and stupid!

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Caf decision over Togo makes no sense

Post categories: Football

Piers Edwards | 18:10 UK time, Saturday, 30 January 2010

Not since Buckingham Palace took so long to respond Princess Diana's death in 1997 has an organisation so badly misjudged the mood of the public.

For the decision by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to expel Togo from the next two Africa Cup of Nations - following their Angola 2010 withdrawal after their team bus was machine-gunned (with two team officials dying) - is simply jaw-dropping.

Before we get into the whys and wherefores, let's just clarify why the Togolese have been suspended. In the statement they released on Saturday, Caf said the following...

'Following a decision taken by players to participate in the competition, the Togolese government decided to call back their national team. The decision taken by the political authorities is infringing Caf and [Nations Cup] regulations. Therefore, a decision has been taken to suspend Togo for the next two editions.'

For their woes, the Togolese federation was also fined US$50,000 - as Caf twisted the knife.

In the same statement, Caf says it understands the players' decision not to participate in the competition but the African ruling body's insensitivity is still staggering.

Some will argue Nations Cup regulations - Article 78 specifies such a punishment for teams withdrawing shortly before the competition - were simply being obeyed but just down the page, Article 80 will tolerate withdrawals 'in cases of force majeure accepted by Caf'.

Force majeure allows for an extraordinary event or circumstance, which the incident in the northern Angolan province of Cabinda on 8 January certainly was - with the Togo bus being attacked by rebels linked to the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda.

When considering that two team officials lost their life, the African ruling body really does seem to believe Bill Shankly's well-worn opinions on football being more important than life and, more pertinently here, death.

When I asked Caf President Issa Hayatou earlier this month whether he regretted bringing the Nations Cup to Angola following the Togolese tragedy, his answer was enlightening.

For the Cameroonian proceeded to explain that there was no real problem having only three teams in Group B after Togo's withdrawal as it had happened before (when Nigeria withdrew from South Africa in 1996).

At that point, an aide came over to explain that the question had actually been about the deaths - whereupon Hayatou addressed the attack with little empathy.

On Friday, he expanded further - saying Caf had denied Togo's request to re-join the tournament after three days of mourning because satellites used for broadcasting had already been pre-arranged, one of a litany of excuses which didn't seem to hold water.

And while words such as 'cruel' and 'inhumane' are already being applied by football fans to the decision - 'stupid' has also followed.

Because whether you agree or disagree with the decision, its timing beggars belief.

Caf argues that the African game doesn't get the coverage it deserves - but how is Sunday's Nations Cup final between Egypt and Ghana going to be about football when announcing this decision 24 hours beforehand?

Even while this tournament has progressed and become about the football, there was always the feeling that the Cabinda attack, which took place 48 hours before the opening game, would overshadow it.

Now it certainly will, as Caf reignited a fading ember at the worst moment.

Caf says it wants to give Togo time to appeal with the draw for 2012 Nations Cup qualifying looming - but they are still ensuring the final, like the opener, is coming second.

Inside talk suggests this is a political spat between the Togolese government, its football federation and Caf, who had a war of words with Prime Minister Gilbert Huongbo when the team withdrew.

And if this is indeed the case, this issue should not be used as a political pawn.

Especially in African football's biggest ever year as the planet's eyes turn to South Africa ahead of the continent's first staging of the World Cup, now just over four months away.

Amidst the fall-out, there will be chat about whether Hayatou, who has held his post for 22 years, is still fit to govern Caf - a question his army of critics will seize upon.

In an interview given to the BBC, Caf claims to be protecting the future of African football by adhering to tournament rules.

But how are they helping the next generation of Togolese players by giving them no continental championship to play for - and at least two years without competition until the 2014 World Cup qualifying comes around?

Personally, I'd be intrigued to know the thoughts of reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale who, lying in a Johannesburg hospital with a bullet lodged near his spine, is now being told that even if he does play football again, he'll be unable to compete in the next two Nations Cups.

Total madness - and I'm sure many of you will join me in hoping Togo's appeal will succeed.


Worth reading some of the the 200 or so comments below the article as well, especailly this one:

"A few years ago John McBeth, a Scotsman who was due to take up a role at FIFA, made this comment:

"By and large, the four British countries know what fair play is and when we're stepping out of line. But, as soon as you hit Africa, it's a slightly different kettle of fish."

He was forced to withdraw from the role by pressure from the "honourable" Jack Warner, but you know what? He was right!"

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Oh crap..i had a feeling already the CAF or FIFA would use the political intervention excuse to try to screw Togo. But neverthles this is such a heartless and inhuman decision, what the hell they were thinking? They did a right choice not playing the finals, if they felt the security of their players was in risk, and the organizing comittee has all the responsability of this, whenever you like it or not. I'm not going to watch these finals anymore, i'm so sickened about CAF incapability of managing these things (and i'm praying stuff like this wont happen in SA2010).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Togo's football authorities have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over their ban from the next two Africa Cups of Nations.

The ban was imposed after Togo pulled out of the recent tournament in Angola.

Their withdrawal came in the wake of the fatal gun attack in which two members of the Togo party were killed.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) say the Togolese Prime Minister's insistence that the team came home amounted to 'government interference'.

The head of the interim committee running Togolese football, General Seyi Memene, said that a panel of lawyers had been appointed to deal with the case - headed by the president of the Togolese Bar Association.

He said the suspension imposed by Caf should be put on hold whilst the case is heard - although that has not yet been confirmed by either the court or the confederation.

General Memene is also a vice-president of Caf but he denied that there was any conflict of interest in his position.

"First of all I am Togolese, so I pray to God that this sanction is lifted," he said.

General Memene was appointed by football's world governing body Fifa in January to try and resolve the disputes which have divided the Togo Football Federation.

When they imposed the two tournament ban, Caf said the Togo players had wanted to continue playing in Angola, but were forced to return by their country's government.


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(and i'm praying stuff like this wont happen in SA2010).

Oh, you better pray hard, Ikarus. I mean, afterall, Cabinda Province is only 3,000km and 3 countries away from SA. And you know what else,I hear that the people in SA may even have dark skins just like those in Cabinda... <end sarcasm>

ONCE AGAIN: South Africa - advanced, developed economy, stable government, tourist hotspot, located on the southern tip of Africa. Cabinda: A non-contiguous province of Angola. 3,000km away from South Africa. Currently in the midst of a civil war by secessions. Completely dependent on oil.

The stability of South Africa is affected as much by events in Cabinda as the stability of the UK is affected by events in Bosnia.

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Before attacking other user, just read the whole thing...

i'm so sickened about CAF incapability of managing these things (and i'm praying stuff like this wont happen in SA2010).

and South Africa can be very far away of Cabinda... but it's still a member of CAF and CAF leaders that will take care of the World Cup are the same that are doing this stupid thing with Togo.

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Court Provisonally Rejects Togo Appeal Decision On Recent Ban

Lome, Togo (AHN) - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) provisionally rejected an appeal from Togo to reverse the African Nations Cup ban imposed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).


Togo fought the ban ahead of the draw for the 2012 tournament qualifying groups which takes place on Saturday.

Their hopes were dealt a blow by CAS, which provisionally rejected the appeal to reverse the decision.

However CAS have said that should they find in Togo's favour on the matter in the future, there is no reason why the draw cannot be re-done to include Togo.

CAS plans to reach a final decision before September 2010 which is when the qualifying matches begin, allowing Togo to compete if the ban is eventually lifted.


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I suppose legally the CAF are right, so the court probably won't have much choice but to back their decision. But this goes way beyond mere legalities, which should have been ignored on this occassion if there was even an ounce of compassion from those at the top of African football.

Incidentally, I sent CAF an email after the decision. Not surprised I haven't heard back from them to be honest.

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  • 2 months later...

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is to mediate in the row over Togo's exclusion from the Africa Cup of Nations, according to the Confederation of African Football (Caf).


Togo's case had been due to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

But that process has now been put on hold with CAS instead overseeing the mediation talks between the two parties on 7 May.

"The arbitration procedure has been suspended considering that the parties wish to solve the dispute by mediation," CAS said in a statement.

Caf said that Sepp Blatter, the head of world football's governing body Fifa, would lead the talks.

Neither Fifa nor the Togolese Football Federation were immediately available for comment.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Togo to return to Nations Cup after Blatter mediation

Togo have been cleared to return to the African Nations Cup after FIFA boss Sepp Blatter helped broker a peace deal, world soccer's governing body said on Friday.

FIFA said the president of the Confederation of African Football had agreed to ask his executive committee to lift Togo's suspension for the 2012 and 2014 tournaments, following mediation chaired by the FIFA president.


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