Togo team gun attack: driver killed, players injured, in Angola

08 January 2010 05:23
The attack took place as the team, preparing for the African Cup of Nations, travelled through the Cabinda region bordering Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The Angolan driver was killed on the spot," said a sports ministry spokesman in Lome, Togo's capital.

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Thomas Dossevi, the Togo and Nantes striker, told French radio station RMC: ''I'm okay but several players are in a bad state.

''We are still at hospital. We were machine-gunned like dogs and had to remain hidden under our seats for around 20 minutes to avoid the bullets.''

A club spokesman for Manchester City said that striker Emmanuel Adebayor, the Togo captain, was not hurt. "Club officials have spoken with Adebayor and though shaken by the terrible events, he is unharmed."

Aston Villa confirmed that their 26-year-old midfielder, Moustapha Salifou, was "shaken but okay" following the attack.

Togo are scheduled to begin their cup campaign against Ghana on Monday.

Midfielder Alaixys Romao said he thought Togo are now likely to pull out of the tournament, which is due to begin on Sunday.

"We're not thinking yet of what could happen," said the Grenoble player. "But it's true that no-one wants to play.

"We're not capable of it.

"We're thinking first of all about the health of our injured because there was a lot of blood on the ground.

"For the moment there is not much news because they have been taken to different hospitals.

"In cases like these we're thinking of those near us, of those we love because that really could have been the end of us."

Cabinda, an oil-rich region separated from the rest of Angola by the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been embroiled in a long-running independence struggle but is scheduled to host seven Nations Cup matches this month.

The FA tonight issued a statement on the situation in Angola which read: "Following the terrible attack on the Togo national team in Angola, the Football Association is in contact with various English clubs who have players involved in the African Nations Cup.

"We will continue to ensure we are kept up to speed with all developments and do all we can to assist our clubs and those players involved.

"The FA is currently contacting various organisations, including FIFA."

Chelsea, who have Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel away on Nations Cup duty, released a statement tonight which read: "We are sure that the national teams and federations along with the authorities are taking every necessary security precaution to ensure the safety of the players and staff."

Source: Telegraph