More important than life and death?

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), the body regulating football in Africa, has fined the National football authorities in Togo $50,000 and banned the team from the next two African Nations Cup tournaments. The confederation has justified the move on the grounds that the national government of Togo allegedly interfered in footballing matters by ordering the national team home instead of allowing players to continue participating in the tournament after two team officials were killed when the team bus they were travelling on was machine gunned ahead of the commencement of the tournament in Angola this month. Piers Edwards rightly calls it a jaw-dropping decision. The legendary Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly, once famously quipped that football was more important that life and death. It is doubtful that he truly believed that. Unfortunately, others seem to have taken him at his word.,

  • JohnM

    A truly outrageous decision. Words fail me.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Poor form. Hopefully they will see sense if there is an appeal.

  • Henry94

    FIFA need to overrule this daft decision.

  • wild turkey

    ‘When I asked Caf President Issa Hayatou earlier this month whether he regretted bringing the Nations Cup to Angola following the Togolese tragedy, his answer was enlightening.

    For the Cameroonian proceeded to explain that there was no real problem having only three teams in Group B after Togo’s withdrawal as it had happened before (when Nigeria withdrew from South Africa in 1996).

    At that point, an aide came over to explain that the question had actually been about the deaths – whereupon Hayatou addressed the attack with little empathy. ‘

    I may be mistaken, but doesn’t a certain local preacher have a mission in Cameroon? Perhaps those ‘secret’ negotiations included proposals to bring in CAF personnel to staff as a replacement for the parades commission. CAF has surely demonstrated the requisite degree of empathy and commonsense.

    Regardless of on the ground realities, the tournament must proceed.

    Forward march.

  • USA

    Bad decision. The team was indeed recalled by the Togo government, but Adebayor of Manchester City made a good point when he said the Togo players were merely ambassadors. Aside from the obvious trauma, when your head of State instructs the team to return home then the team has very few options.

  • riverlagan

    The Togolese have a history of threatening to pull out of tournaments, like at the 2006 World Cup Finals, because they felt their salary – paid by their government – was inadequate. They eventually resolved their issues.

  • Paddy

    It seems to be that every sporting organisation (GAA honourable exception) is run by fascists. Mr Olympics was thrown out of the USA pro Nazi movement as he was too pro Nazi. FIFA are the same. And, as regards the wankers of the FAI/IFA, the less said the better.

    Was Sri Lanka punished for pulling its cricketers out of Pakistan btw?

  • Drumlins Rock

    “(GAA honourable exception)”


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