Today, Togo was scheduled to play Ghana in the African Nations Cup, a tournament which began in Angola yesterday. Instead, the squad returned home to bury its assistant coach Amalete Abalo and press officer Stanislaud after its team bus was attacked by gunmen in the northern enclave of Cabinda. The Angolan driver of the bus also died in an ambush the separatist group known as the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) has claimed responsibility for.
The team, which features Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor and Aston Villa’s Moustapha Salifou, initially changed their minds and decided to compete to honor their fallen comrades, but later were ordered to return by the Togolese government.
The attack has raised serious questions about security at the tournament, and has obviously sparked concerns ahead of this year’s World Cup in South Africa.
Said concerns have irked Danny Jordaan, the head of South Africa’s World Cup Organizing Committee.
He told reporters, “When there are terrorist attacks in Europe, do we hear about the 2012 Olympics being under threat? No. Angola and South Africa are two separate geographical areas, two separate countries. Besides, the [Africa Cup of Nations] is not the World Cup.”