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Togo football team to leave Angola

sports Updated: Jan 11, 2010 00:08 IST

Togo's team forward Thomas Dossevi said on Sunday the team is leaving Angola after its government recalled them from the African Cup of Nations, accusing host Angola of failing to protect the players after a deadly ambush on their bus.

The players had earlier said they wanted to stay and compete in honour of the dead, who included their assistant coach, a team spokesman and the Angolan bus driver.

“We fully understand our government's decision to leave because they didn't receive enough guarantees for our security,” Dossevi said. “We as players, we wanted to stay to honour the memory of our dead people, but both positions are understandable.”

Togo's Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo said the country's presidential plane is in Angola to take the team back to Lome, Togo's capital. He said that it would take some time to get them back, as they have to accommodate the wounded.

Dossevi said all team members would go to Lome together before rejoining their respective football clubs.

Captain Emmanuel Adebayor said, “We are children of the Togo and we will abide by the decision of our government.”

Houngbo reiterated the government's decision to demand the team withdraw from the tournament.

“Angola and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have not taken adequate security measures to ensure the safety of the Togolese national team,” the Prime Minister said.

Tournament should go on: Wenger

Arsène Wenger will not be seeking the release of Emmanuel Eboué and Alex Song from the tournament and has insisted it should go ahead.

“We won't be asking FIFA to release them, and I'll be happy for Eboué to play in Cabinda on Monday,” he said. “I believe it would be disrespectful to Africa and the Africa Nations Cup [to bring them home]. You can't always encourage Africa to develop and if something happens say ‘come back to Europe’.”

He added, “I don't believe you can just stop any competition for any incident, because that would be a reward for the people who provoke these atrocities.”