Posted by: stan chelney | February 12, 2010

Togo Appeals African Cup of Nations Ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Togo’s Football Federation filed an appeal on February 12 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) challenging its suspension from the next two African Cup of Nations tournaments, which was imposed after Togo elected to abruptly withdraw from this year’s tournament following a fatal terrorist attack on its team bus last month.

On January 8, Togo’s team bus was ambushed by Northern Angolan rebels, killing three people and injuring six others.  The team, which features Manchester City star Emmanuel Adebayor, was en route to its training facility in preparation for the start of the tournament when the separatist gang opened machine gun fire on the bus.  Adebayor was unharmed in the attacks.

Clearly shaken, the Togolese players first determined that they could not continue with the tournament, but reconsidered in the next several days, stating that they would play.  It was then that the Togo government ordered the team to come home.   In response to the nationalist intervention, the African Football Confederation (CAF), levied a $50,000 fine on the nation and banned it from the next two African Cup of Nations tournaments.  The CAF explained: “The players publicly expressed their willingness to return to the Nations Cup to compete. But the Togo government decided to call back their national team.”  The CAF highlighted in its ruling that “There was an interference by the Togolese government, and that we can not accept.”

The CAF’s ruling was met with outrage by the international community, particularly in light of the upcoming World Cup in South Africa, the first such tournament to be held on African soil.  Pascal Bodjona, Togo’s interior minister, responding to the sanction, stated “This is a surprise decision and it means that people [CAF] have no consideration for the lives of other human beings. This is insulting to the families of those who lost their lives and those traumatised because of the attack … We are awaiting the official notification and we are going to take legal action to resolve the matter.”   Today’s legal filing in the CAS represents the first such challenge, though more are likely.

Still to come…a legal analysis of Togo’s claims before the CAS.

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Responses

  1. there no law in africa everything is in the mess how can you ban a country that went through such a trauma and horror. It is a disgrace


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