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Togo players 'machine-gunned like dogs' as team bus comes under attack

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09 Jan 2010 10:07:16

Togo players 'machine-gunned like dogs' as team bus comes under attack

The Africa Cup of Nations Nations is in danger of being scrapped after Togo's team bus was machine -gunned by terrorists. Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was among the players who were trapped on the coach by a 20-minute hail of bullets from Angolan rebels. Star asset: Man City's Emmanuel Adebayor is Togo's main man Adebayor miraculously escaped unhurt but the driver was killed and six others injured - and at least two are thought to be players. Manchester City released a statement relating to Adebayor, which read: "Manchester City can confirm that striker Emmanuel Adebayor is uninjured after this afternoon's attack on the Togo team bus in Angola.   Enlarge Shooting: The attack happened as the Togo team bus crossed the border "Club officials have spoken with Adebayor and, though shaken by the terrible events, he is unharmed.   "The club would like to send its condolences to the family of the driver and sends best wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.   On the ball: Fans gather in Luanda, Angola in preparation for the tournament, which is scheduled to kick-off on Sunday "We are currently in talks with the Football Association over what may happen next." Aston Villa midfielder Moustapha Salifou, one of 28 English-based players at the tournament, emerged shocked but unharmed. Salifou spoke to his brother Eddie in Togo and said: 'I am okay but extremely shocked and very upset.' Badly injured: Romanian club FC Vaslui confirmed their defender Serge Akakpo was shot in the attack Villa boss Martin O'Neill told his club's official website, www.avfc.co.uk: "I am really shocked to hear about this.   "Obviously I am pleased and relieved to hear that Moustapha is okay and that he is not among the injured people.   "The club have been in contact with him and he has reassured usthat he is okay but he is extremely shocked and upset, which he wouldbe in these circumstances." The attack happened as the Togo team bus crossed the border heading for Cabinda where they were due to play Ghana on Monday. The event kicks off tomorrow. Describing the horrifying scenes, Nantes striker Thomas Dos sevi said: 'We were machine-gunned like dogs and had to remain hidden under our seats for around 20 minutes to avoid the bullets. I'm OK but several players are in a bad state. We're still at hospital.' Midfielder Richmond Forson claimed the number of injuries could have been much worse had the gunmen not originally targeted the wrong coach. He told Canal Plus: 'The bus carrying our baggage was in front of us which they fired on first. That's what saved us. 'Then they fired on our driver and those who were in front. The windscreen was shattered by the first bullets. Blood was pouring down the floor of the bus.' Hero: Adebayor is heading Togo's bid for glory   City learned news of Adebayor after contacting Kolo Toure who had spoken to his team-mate's wife. Ironically, Adebayor had expressed his safety concerns, saying: 'We hope everyone comes back safely.' Officials will meet today to discuss the outrage but will be under massive pressure to press ahead with the event. This tournament was meant to begin an African carnival leading up to the World Cup in South Africa in June but will only serve to highlight security worries regarding football's biggest showpiece. Manchester City and Portsmouth have contacted the Football Association, asking them to speak to football's world governing body to ensure players' safety can be guaranteed, and calling for them to be sent home if it cannot.   A spokesman for Portsmouth, who have a number of players away on African Nations Cup duty, told Press Association Sport: "We will be asking the FA to talk to FIFA to ensure the players' safety. That is paramount, and if the players' safety can't be ensured, then the players should be sent home." Chelsea, who have Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien and John ObiMikel away on Nations Cup duty, released a statement tonight which read: "Weare sure that the national teams and federations along with the authorities aretaking every necessary security precaution to ensure the safety of the playersand staff." The FA issued a statement on the situation in Angola which read:"Following the terrible attack on the Togo national team in Angola, theFootball Association is in contact with various English clubs who have playersinvolved in the African Nations Cup. "We will continue to ensure we are kept up to speed with all developments anddo all we can to assist our clubs and those players involved. "The FA is currently contacting various organisations, including FIFA."  Hull City boss Phil Brown wants Daniel Cousin and Seyi Olofinjana to quit Africa Cup of Nations and come home'Worst experience of my life': Adebayor reveals Togo's gun terror tormentTogo terrorist attack is threat to the 2010 World Cup finalsAngola government pledge to beef up security after 'unfortunate' attack on Togo team bus


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