- Title: TOGO: FOOTBALL/ SOCCER - Togolese soccer fans shocked and dismayed at CAF ban
- Date: 31st January 2010
- Summary: VARIOUS OF NEWSPAPERS NEWSPAPER 'LA GAZELLE' WITH HEADLINE READING: 'THOSE ACCUSED, STAND UP' NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING: '(FIFA General Secretary) JEROME VALKE, FIFA HAD WARNED CAF' (CONFEDERATION OF AFRICAN FOOTBALL) MORE OF NEWSPAPERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) AIME EKPE, DIRECTOR OF SPORTS NEWSPAPER 'SPORTS TEAM' AND SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE SPORTS JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION OF TOGO, SAYING: "Four years in which Togo cannot play a CAN competition, it's a whole generation of players that could leave and I ask myself what will become of Togolese football if we have to stay at home without playing this sport"
- Embargoed: 15th February 2010 12:00
- Location: Togo
- Country: Togo
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA1JPXDS5F172O8XLIHDIQEQ4N1
- Story Text: Togolese soccer fans have reacted with shock and dismay at the suspension of their national side for the next two African Nations Cups.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the suspension on Saturday (January 30), saying it was because Togo withdrew from this year's competition after two members of the delegation were killed in an ambush on the team bus on the way to compete in the competition in Angola.
"The players publicly expressed their willingness to return to the Nations Cup to compete. But the Togo government decided to call back their national team," CAF said in a statement.
"The decision by political authorities contravenes CAF and African Nations Cup regulations. The executive committee therefore has banned Togo from the next two African Nations Cup and fined the Togo FA 50,000 U.S. dollars."
The CAF statement added: "The executive committee and CAF repeat their profound sympathy to the families of the victims of the tragic attack. CAF has condemned the attack and denounced the act of terrorism."
Angolan police in Cabinda have arrested two alleged members of the FLEC (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda), a separatist movement that claimed responsibility for the attack.
In Lome on Sayurday, football agent Malick Nibombe said: "To have this decision fall on us like that today, it's a very serious thing for our football because it puts compromises) the entire future of our players and it breaks the rest of the football chain, affecting sports journalists, sports agents and coaches."
Aime Ekpe, Secretary-General of the Sports Journalists Association of Togo, said: "Four years in which Togo cannot play a CAN competition, it's a whole generation of players that could leave and I ask myself what will become of Togolese football if we have to stay at home without playing this sport."
On the streets, taxi driver Jacob Nomagnon commented: "I'm very angry because it's an irresponsible decision the CAF have taken. It's not human and (it's) immoral, they have no heart, otherwise they could never have taken this decision at a time when Togo is crying for the people who were killed. I am very indignant."
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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