Football

Assurances sought after Togo shooting

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Premier League clubs are preparing to bring their African stars home if assurances cannot be provided over their safety following Friday's attack on the Togo team bus two days before the start of the African Nations Cup in Angola.

Manchester City - whose star striker Emmanuel Adebayor was not harmed in the attack in Cabinda - and Portsmouth have contacted the Football Association, asking them to speak to football's world governing body to ensure players' safety can be guaranteed, and calling for them to be sent home if it cannot.

A spokesman for Portsmouth, who have a number of players away on African Nations Cup duty, told Press Association Sport: "We will be asking the FA to talk to FIFA to ensure the players' safety. That is paramount, and if the players' safety can't be ensured, then the players should be sent home."

The team bus came under an attack that, according to reports, left the driver dead and six other passengers injured, including two of the Togo squad. Romanian club Vaslui confirmed their defender Serge Akakpo was one of the players who had been shot and badly injured in the attack.

Manchester City released a statement on Friday evening relating to Adebayor, which read: "Manchester City can confirm that striker Emmanuel Adebayor is uninjured after this afternoon's attack on the Togo team bus in Angola.

"Club officials have spoken with Adebayor and, though shaken by the terrible events, he is unharmed.

"The club would like to send its condolences to the family of the driver and sends best wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured. We are currently in talks with the Football Association over what may happen next."

Aston Villa have also confirmed their midfielder Moustapha Salifou is "shaken but okay" following the attack after managing to make contact with the 26-year-old's brother.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill told his club's official website, www.avfc.co.uk: "I am really shocked to hear about this. Obviously I am pleased and relieved to hear that Moustapha is okay and that he is not among the injured people."

The Confederation of African Football and FIFA are yet to confirm the details of the attack or what effect it may have on the format of the tournament, or indeed whether it can go ahead at all.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Emmanuel Adebayor
Football
Manchester City
Moustapha Salifou
Premier League
Aston Villa

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