Saturday, January 9, 2010
Nations Cup matches to go ahead in Cabinda
African Nations Cup matches will be played in Cabinda despite Friday's attack on the
Togo team bus in the province, organisers the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said.
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"After an extraordinary meeting at the airport of Cabinda,
the (CAF) president and the members of the executive committee
present have decided in perfect coordination with the Angolan
authorities to maintain the matches of Group B in Cabinda," CAF
said in a statement on Saturday.
CAF said it would
understand if Togo, who have been drawn in Group B, decided to
leave the tournament after three people were killed by gunmen in
the attack as the team were travelling to the finals.
The news comes as a spokesman for a faction of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), said that it would launch a series of operations against the Angolan army in the area.
Rodrigues Mingas, a spokesman for the Military Position faction of FLEC, which is seeking independence for the northern Angolan enclave of Cabinda, told the Dow Jones Newswires that the Togo attack was "only a prelude to a series of targeted operations which will take place on the whole territory of Cabinda against the Angolan occupation forces."
Meanwhile, Ghana revealed they have been ''shaken to the core'' by the terror
attack, but have asked Togo to reconsider their decision to withdraw.
''We were all saddened by the news when reports broke out on Friday. We had
arrived a day before with no incidents and never expected such an attack,''
Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi said.
''But when the Togolese described the moment of terror to us, we were really
shaken to the core. Everyone was frightened and I must admit, we are gradually
getting over it.''
Nyantakyi insists the Black Stars are ready for their first game and would
welcome Togo's participation in the competition.
''Yes, we would be ready for the game. The players have managed to overcome it
and are going about their preparations,'' he added.
''Though we acknowledge the terrifying nature of the attack, we hope Togo would
rescind their decision to withdraw.''
However, he appreciates a major review of security in the region is needed in
order to reassure his players and the other teams in Group B, Ivory Coast and
''We have sought assurances from the organisers, the LOC (Local Organising
Committee) and the government of Angola,'' Nyantakyi said.
''It's important for us to be able to lift the players from such a gloom that
has engulfed the competition and one key area is the security that needs to be
put in place.
''The incident happened some 150km away from Cabinda but it's imperative that
measures are put in place to forestall any future occurrence.
''The safety of everyone is most important and we hope we can go through the
competition without any setback. It's rather unfortunate that the African Cup of
Nations has experienced such an incident.''