The Togolese team at the African Cup of Nations is currently weighing up whether or not to remain at the tournament after their team bus came under sustained machine gun fire yesterday while crossing the border from Congo into Angola, where nine matches are due to be played.
Captain, Emanuel Adebayor, of Manchester City, said “if we are not sure… we will be leaving”
“It’s a football game, it’s one of the biggest tournaments in Africa and a lot of people would love to be in our position but I don’t think anybody would be prepared to give their life.”
The team bus driver was killed and up to nine others, including coaching staff and two players, were hit by bullets and injured in the attack.
Serge Akakpo, who plays for Vaslui in Romania was hit by two bullets and badly injured: his club reported that the player had undergone successful surgery and was in a stable condition despite having lost a significant amount of blood as a result of his injuries.
Alexi Romayo who plays for Grenoble in France said “Why not cancel all the matches? We just want to go home” a sentiment which was echoed by his Togolese team mate Thomas Dossevi of Nantes who said simply “We don’t want to play this Africa Cup of Nations.”
Emanuel Adabayor explained
“I don’t think any of the players will be able to sleep after this.
You cannot sleep after what we have seen today – one of your team-mates with bullets in his body in front of you, crying and losing consciousness. It is very difficult.”
Officials are keen to ensure the African Cup of Nations goes ahead as planned despite this attack. It remains to be seen whether or not Togo stay in the tournament. If they do, their first match is due to take place on Monday against Ghana.