Clubs want African players home after attack
A number of Premier League clubs have called for their players taking part in the African Cup of Nations to be sent home following the horrific machine gun attack on the Togo national team bus.
The bus driver was killed and nine other people injured, including two Togo players, after the bus came under machine gun fire in Angola on Friday. A separatist rebel group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hull City’s Gabon striker Daniel Cousin and Nigerian midfielder Seyi Olofinjana are amongst the players currently in Africa preparing for the competition which is scheduled to get underway tomorrow. Manager Phil Brown told The Sun: “I have two players on duty and I want them home.”
Brown’s safety concerns are shared by a number of other Premier League bosses, including Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp, who said: “It’s frightening. It’s worth considering calling the whole thing off. We can’t just sit around and wait for the next shooting.”
Portsmouth club spokesman Gary Double added: “Our players’ safety is paramount and if that can’t be guaranteed the players should be sent home.”
Despite the attack, the tournament is scheduled to go ahead as planned, however Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor revealed that the Togo team are considering withdrawing from the competition after saying that some players had “seen their death.”
Adebayor said: “I think a lot of players want to leave, I don’t think they want to be at this tournament any more because they have seen their death already.”
“Most of the players want to go back to their family. No-one can sleep after what they have seen. They have seen one of their team-mates have a bullet in his body, who is crying, who is losing consciousness and everything,” he continued.
“We are still in shock. If the security is not sure then we will be leaving. I don’t think they will be ready to give their life. We will discuss everything as a team and we will take a decision that we think is good for our career, is good for our life and good for our family.”