Cabinda, Angola Togo’s government wants an apology from Angola and African Cup of Nations organizers for sending its soccer team into unruly Cabinda, where gunmen killed two team officials and the bus driver.
A day after Togo’s bus was fired on with machine guns shortly after crossing from Congo into Angola, Togo government spokesman Pascal Bodjona said Saturday it was difficult to understand why Angolan authorities chose Cabinda to host African Cup matches when it knew “the area was a dangerous and risky zone.”
It was unclear whether Togo would remain in the tournament. Forward Thomas Dossevi told The Associated Press in a phone interview Saturday that the team would pull out of the competition and fly out of Angola early today. But midfielder Alaixys Romao told L’Equipe the team had decided to play.
“The entire delegation just met and, after all, we’ll be on the pitch Monday to play against Ghana,” Romao said in a story on the French sports daily’s Web site.
Efforts by the AP to reach a tournament spokesman and Dossevi after L’Equipe’s report were unsuccessful.
Speaking in the Togo capital Lome, Bodjona said Saturday nobody informed his country that it was hazardous to travel by road to Cabinda. He also demanded an apology from the Angola government and African Cup officials.
The ambush killed an assistant coach, a team spokesperson, and the Angolan bus driver, according to the team and Togo government. At least two players had gunshot wounds.
“People died for this tournament, others were injured. We can’t abandon them and leave like cowards,” Romao told L’Equipe. “If we stay here, it’s for them. But also so as not to give satisfaction to the rebels.
“Our government doesn’t necessarily agree with us but we are determined to play in this competition. The decision was taken unanimously.”