Togo's football team left Angola on Sunday after being recalled from the Africa Cup of Nations by their government in the wake of Friday's deadly attack on the team bus. Togo's sports minister said they hope to join the tournament later.
Togo's team plane took off from Angola on Sunday to bring the national football team home after an attack on the team's bus killed at least two members of its delegation.
The Togolese government ordered its footballers home from the Africa Cup of Nations after the militant ambush on their convoy on Friday.
Togo football captain Emmanuel Adebayor told a French radio station that although the players wanted to honour the dead by carrying on with the tournament, they would accede to their government's wishes.
"We all decided to do something good for the country and play to honour those who died," Manchester City striker Adebayor told RMC radio.
"Unfortunately, the head of state and the country's authorities have decided otherwise. We will pack up and go home."
But Togo's sports minister, Christophe Tchao, said on Sunday that although the players are returning home with the bodies of those who died, they still hope to play in the African Nations Cup. Tchao told reporters that Togo has requested that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) find a way for the team to join the competition after they have time to mourn their loss.
"We have ordered a three-day mourning," Tchao said. "The players are leaving with the bodies of their fallen brothers and we have asked the CAF to find an arrangement so we can catch up with the competition later."
At least two members of the Togolese contingent -- one an assistant coach, the other a team spokesman -- were killed and nine others were wounded when hooded gunmen opened fire on Togo's players as they drove into Angola's northern Cabinda province from neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville.
Separatist rebels in Cabinda have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Date created : 2010-01-10