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tankie
09 Jan 10,, 12:53
:( they should not have broken the rules ,, no buses ,, and this will put a question mark on the world cup being held in Africa methinks :frown: RIP .


Togo's national soccer team, which was ambushed by gunmen on its way to the African Nations Cup in Angola on Friday, was told not to travel by bus to the separatist area of Cabinda, a soccer official said on Saturday.

Virgilio Santos, an official with African Nations Cup local organising committee COCAN, was cited by weekly sports newspaper A Bola as saying no team should have travelled by bus through Angola.

"We asked that all delegations inform us when they would arrive and provide the passport number of their players. Togo was the only team not to respond and did not inform COCAN it was coming by bus," Santos told the newspaper.

"The rules are clear: no team should travel by bus. I don't know what led them to do this."

The Togo team bus, travelling from its training ground in the Republic of Congo, had just entered the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, where separatists have waged a three-decade long war against the government, when it came under sustained heavy gunfire. The bus driver was killed and nine people were injured, including two players.

A crisis meeting is expected to take place in the Angolan capital Luanda between local officials and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over security measures for the tournament.

CAF has said the January10 to 31 tournament would go ahead despite the attack and the Angolan government said late on Friday all teams would still take part in the tournament.

However, Togo Captain Emmanuel Adebayor, who escaped uninjured from Friday's attack, said his team might withdraw from the African Nations Cup.

"A lot of players want to leave. They have seen death and want to go back to their families," who joined Manchester City for a reported 25 million pounds ($40 million) told the BBC World Service.

There has been no official suggestion matches will be pulled from Cabinda, an oil producing region wedged between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo, which is one of four provinces chosen to host matches in Angola.

The area has been the target of attacks by separatist rebels even after Angola's 27-year civil war ended in 2002. Cabinda is responsible for half of Angola's daily oil production, which rivals Nigeria as Africa's biggest oil producer.

The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), who has fought for independence of the oil-producing province, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The FLEC was not thought to be a serious security risk. In December, Angolan minister without portfolio Antonio Bento Bembe, a former senior FLEC fighter, said the group no longer existed.

He said all that remained of FLEC was a few individuals who were trying to attract unhappy Cabindans with false statements

Merlin
10 Jan 10,, 04:35
I think the Togo team should still play.

Togo players decide to compete in African Nations Cup (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h61_6xea_b9P95jwY9Ht65d5tveQ)

3 hrs ago [AFP] CABINDA, Angola The Togo national football side will play in the African Nations Cup, one of the players Thomas Dossevi told AFP on Sunday, despite an earlier decision to pull out.

"In memory of the dead, the national team has decided to play in the African Nations Cup," said Dossevi.

The players had initially said they didn't want to play in the tournament, and the government recalled the team, following Friday's machine gun ambush by Cabinda separatists that killed an assistant coach and squad spokesman.

"We are all heartbroken, it is no longer a party, but we want to show our national colours, our values and that we are men," he said.

"It was a decision taken nearly unanimously by the team which met during the night after having been reassured by the Angolan authorities," Dossevi added. ....

Silent Hunter
10 Jan 10,, 12:46
Togo's PM wants them home though. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/8450529.stm)

They shouldn't have travelled by bus, but that doesn't justify it at all.

RIP.

Knaur Amarsh
10 Jan 10,, 20:16
R. I. P.

It is however, not the administration's fault, they cannot be expected to provide players security everywhere if they willfully ignore rules. If they had informed the govt. as is protocol, they would have got security escorts and this tragedy would have been prevented.