Togo 'pull out of African Nations Cup'

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Togo have withdrawn from the African Nations Cup in Angola, according to a BBC report.

The Togo team bus came under machine gunfire on Friday just after it had crossed the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo into the Angolan enclave of Cabinda.

The bus driver was killed while two players were among the injured in the attack and BBC Radio 5 Live said on Saturday afternoon that the team had pulled out of the competition.

Midfielder Alaixys Romao confirmed the players were at the airport waiting to return home, and were also encouraging other teams to pull out of the competition.

"We're waiting for the plane to return to Lome," the Grenoble player told L'Equipe. "We're also talking to the other teams in our group to try to convince them to boycott the competition too."

Togo were due to kick off their campaign against Ghana on Monday.

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who revealed the attack en route to the team's base in the Cabinda province lasted 30 minutes, convened a team meeting as captain on Friday night to discuss whether to stay in Angola or return to their clubs. The squad now appears to have decided for the latter option.

Togo coach Hubert Velud claimed the authorities should seriously consider whether to call off the whole tournament, although Angola insist their country is committed to hosting a secure competition and said they would step up security.

"We can at least pose ourselves that question," Velud told French radio station RMC on Saturday morning. "It's an act of barbarism while we are here to celebrate African football. We left the hospital a short time ago to come to the centre for the teams in the competition. We stayed in the hospital a long time so that we could be very united.

"In these situations you become a bit paranoid, you doubt everything. We don't feel that the authorities are taking this very seriously. I don't mean that they want to hush up the matter, but almost."

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Emmanuel Adebayor
Manchester City
Premier League

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