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'Disqualified' Togo deserve much better; SPORTS COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR.. AGAIN.

Byline: Oliver Holt

I DON'T believe the tragedy that unfolded in Angola last week has any relevance to the staging of the World Cup in South Africa later this year.

But I do think that the aftermath of the attack on the Togo team bus has been handled with rank insensitivity by the Confederation of African Football.

It may only be a technical term but for CAF to pronounce on Monday that Togo had been 'disqualified' from the Africa Cup of Nations was crass in the extreme.

Emmanuel Adebayor and his team-mates had just spent half an hour pinned down on a bus, trying to dodge machinegun fire.

They had seen three people murdered. One of their goalkeepers is in intensive care in a hospital in South Africa with a bullet lodged in his back. At least part of the reason for their plight was that they were not protected properly and that the Angolan government had sought to play down the threat from separatists in Cabinda.

Surely, what CAF should have done in the circumstances was allow Togo to go home to mourn their dead and then permit them to return, as the Togolese wished.

OK, so they might have had to reschedule a couple of matches. They might have had to compromise usual tournament procedures.

But then usual tournament procedures were fairly severely compromised the moment rebels attacked a bunch of footballers with machineguns.

The least Adebayor and his colleagues deserved was a little understanding. CAF couldn't even give them that.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2010
Previous Article:In an interview with BBC [...].
Next Article:Hicks up and away at last; SPORTS COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR.. AGAIN.

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