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Togo decision is 'outrageous'

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has outraged the Togolese government with its decision to ban their national team from the Africa Cup of Nations for the next two tournaments after they pulled out of this year’s tournament following the gun assault the team faced (during which two players were killed, remember) crossing the border into Angola. Caf also slapped them with a $50,000 fine for the government pulling the team out of the tournament for three days of national mourning.

‘This decision is outrageous,’ said Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor. ‘They do not care about the voice of the world. It was our head of state (Faure Gnassingbe) who sent us to the African Cup of Nations to defend the colours of our country.

‘He said the threat surrounding our squad had not gone and told us to return to our country. We are only ambassadors. We were obliged to return, and there was nothing we could do.’

Hubert Velud, Togo’s coach, called for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini to take a look at the ruling, which, given it happened in Africa there’s every chance they won’t.

‘I am curious to know if Blatter and Platini will endorse this decision,’ said Velud. ‘If they let this go, it is the gateway to completely dysfunctional football. I officially launched an appeal to international bodies to see their reaction.’

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