Togo disqualification stymies talk of Cup of Nations U-turn

TOGO were last night officially disqualified from the Africa Cup of Nations, quashing reports that they might be reconsidering their withdrawal.

Togo were rumoured to be ready to go back on their decision to pull out of the tournament and instead request a three-day mourning period following the horrific gun attack on their team bus last Friday which left three people dead.

But Confederation of African Football (CAF) officials declared that Togo, captained by Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor, had been removed from the competition after failing to turn up for last night’s listed game with Ghana.

“They are disqualified. This group [B] is a three-team tournament,” read a CAF statement. Organisers added that they had “decided to cancel all the matches of the Togolese team in the frame of this group”.

Togolese prime minister Gilbert Houngbo had earlier denied suggestions that there had ever been any consideration given to re-entering the tournament. “The information that has been circulated on some websites saying the players are just back for three days mourning and will then go back playing is quite wrong,”?he said. “We withdrew our team on the basis they have been the victim of a terrorist attack.”

Meanwhile, tournament outsiders Malawi stunned England’s World Cup group opponents Algeria with a 3-0 victory in Luanda.

There was no such joy, however, for Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Ivory Coast, who were held 0-0 by Burkina Faso.