Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Africa, how do you win the Africa Cup of Nations? Kill the opposing side - literally

"We were machine-gunned like dogs," Togo player Thomas Dossevi, who plays for French club Nantes, told Radio Monte Carlo. "They were armed to the teeth ... We spent 20 minutes underneath the seats of the bus."
Angola has been struggling to climb back from decades of violence, and its government was clearly banking on the tournament as a chance to show the world it was on the way to recovery. A building boom fueled by oil wealth has included new stadiums in Cabinda and three other cities for the tournament.
The violence also comes five months before the World Cup in South Africa, the first to be held on the continent. The biggest concern leading to that 32-nation tournament has been the security situation in South Africa, a country with one of the world's highest crime rates.

SHOOT: This attack is likely to cast a shadow - and justifiably - over whether or not an African country ought to be allowed to host a World Cup when it can't protect ordinary citizens within its borders, and apparently does care to.
clipped from

Togo's footballers who were targeted in a deadly attack have voted to stay in the African Nations Cup despite an appeal from their nation's government.

The ambush on the team's bus by machine-gun armed rebels, in competition host nation Angola, left three dead and eight wounded.

The surprise announcement revoked their earlier intention to fly home in the wake of the attack in Cabinda, a troubled province of Angola.

He said his team is "a bit bitter, we are a little disappointed with the Confederation of African Football... which couldn't arrange for a postponement of our first match so we could bury our dead".

A Togolese football federation spokesman had said assistant coach Amalete Abalo and press officer Stanislaud Ocloo died in the ambush, along with the bus driver.

Injured goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale was in a stable condition at a South African hospital where he was expected to undergo surgery for gunshot wounds to the lower back and abdomen.

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