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Homebound Togo could return

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10 Jan 2010 21:52:59

Homebound Togo could return

The Togo squad flew home on Sunday night although their African Nations Cup future remains shrouded in uncertainty after it emerged they have asked to return to Angola at a later date.

The players were ordered back to Togo against their wishes by the country's leading governmental figures following Friday's terrorist attack on the team bus which left three people dead.

The decision - made by Togolese prime minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo and president Faure Gnassingbe - came after the players had performed a U-turn and decided to play as a mark of respect to the dead and they may still get their wish after it emerged sports minister Christophe Tchao had asked for their place in the tournament to remain open.

- African Nations Cup results/fixtures

He told reporters before the squad left Cabinda: "We have ordered a three-day mourning.

"The players are leaving with the bodies of their fallen brothers and we have asked the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to find an arrangement so we can catch up with the competition later."

Earlier, Houngbo and Gnassingbe ruled the squad should come home even though they wanted to stay.

Houngbo told L'Equipe: "We understand the approach of the players who wanted to express a way to avenge their fallen comrades, but it would be irresponsible on the part of the authorities to let them continue.

"The team must return today. The government's decision is unchanged.

"It is a conscious decision since Friday. If a team or a person present themselves under the banner of Togo, it would be a false representation."


PA

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