CAF have announced Togo will be disqualified if they do not materialize for the kick off of their fixture against Ghana tonight in Cabinda.
Rumours abound whether Botswana, The Republic of the Congo or Namibia will be invited to do a “Denmark”.
Cabinda’s separatist rebels, FLEC, have apologized for the attack, claiming it was a mistake to attack the Togolese, and have presented their condolences to the families of the deceased.
Pessimists supported by hustlers and vultures from the security and shock industry continue to make fear representations to the press about South Africa’s World Cup.
And it now seems Confusão has rubbed off on the Algerian defence, who are being torn to shreds by Malawi.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned Togo from the next two African Nations Cup tournaments and also imposed a $50,000 fine. “This decision is outrageous,” said Togo captain and Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor to the French newspaper L’Equipe on Sunday.
Togo returned home from the Nations Cup two days before the kickoff after two members of its delegation were killed in a terrorist attack on January 8 in Cabinda. CAF’s reason for punishing the victims is that it views the Togolese government’s decision to recall the team as ‘political interference’ in football affairs. The Togolese government intends to fight what it called the ‘insulting’ sanctions.
The response to the attack on the Togolese team from much of the rabble that constitutes the English Premier League was predictable. The emirs and oligarchs did not say much, leaving it to some of the old fashioned brass merchants to bellow about bringing their players “home”.
Arsène Wenger was not of the same mind.
When asked if he wanted to bring his players back to Britain (where let’s not forget Irish continuity forces still use the occasional bullet and bomb), Wenger was a beacon of sensibility and preferred to express his respect for Africa.
“We won’t be asking Fifa to release them, and I’ll be happy for Eboué to play in Cabinda on Monday,” said Wenger. “I believe it would be disrespectful to Africa and the Africa Nations Cup [to bring them home]. You can’t always encourage Africa to develop and if something happens say ‘come back to Europe’.”
The intersection of oil and football has moved from a field in Fallujah to a Cabinda-Congo border crossing, where earlier today separatist rebels ambushed the Togolese team bus.
Terrified Togolese footballers told of how they dived to the deck of the bus as they were “machine-gunned like dogs”. The Angolan bus driver was killed and four others on the bus were wounded including the reserve goalkeeper, Kodjovi Obilale (pictured in the Togo team photo above), and young midfield prospect, Serge Gakpé.
Les Eperviers are in state of shock and soundings taken from the players suggest they are unlikely to fulfill their fixtures. Togo are scheduled to open their tournament against Ghana in Cabinda on Monday.
You can expect a flurry of charges of corruption and references to atrocities dating all the way back to Berlin conference of 1884 (which set the borders for present day Angola, a year after Portuguese occupation of Cabinda).
No doubt the oil emirs and oligarchs who control the heights of English football will feel empowered to pipe up and demand the Africans return their human “property”. I fear there are probably no players of the calibre of Obdulia Varela around to respond. I wonder what the great Uruguayan captain would make of being told to return to the ranch to drive a Range Rover around the Stamford Bridge Ice Rink for the viewers at home? It will be interesting to see how Michael Essien and Didier Drogba respond tomorrow to the prospect of playing their 1st round fixtures in the Angolan enclave that is home to between 60% to 70% of Angola’s oil.