- Botswana has come out strongly to condemn the suspension of Togo from participating in the next two Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
The suspension follows the withdrawal of Togo from the tournament hosted by Angola, which ended yesterday, with Egypt retaining the title for the third consecutive time.
“The government of Botswana strongly condemns the insensitivity of the CAF decision in suspending Togo from the Africa Cup games. The Togolese football team suffered a horrific attack in Cabinda, whilst enroute to the 2010 Africa Games in Angola, where some members of the team lost their lives, others were injured and the whole team suffered a major psychological shock which can neither be erased nor ignored. The Government of Togo and the people of Togo have suffered an immeasurable loss which calls for a high degree of compassion and understanding from the African Football fraternity,” read a statement issued by the government of Botswana.
The Botswana government has also argued that the CAF rules barring interference by governments in the running of football cannot in this case apply, saying governments ultimately have the responsibility for the welfare and security of their citizens.
“Football can never take precedence over the feelings of people after such a tragic event. The CAF decision negates the spirit of Football of bringing people together and the African spirit of unity and compassion,” said the statement, calling upon CAF to reverse its unreasonable decision, while also appeal to all CAF affiliates to apply pressure on the CAF governing body to revoke its decision.
Togo withdrew from the tournament following the attack in Kabinda claimed by rebels. Three members of the team were killed during the bloody attack while the team’s goalkeeper was taken to South Africa for an operation.
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