Afternoon Ticker: Togo handed ACN ban, Lennon doubtful for World Cup and more

Afternoon Ticker: Togo handed ACN ban, Lennon doubtful for World Cup and more

International Soccer

Afternoon Ticker: Togo handed ACN ban, Lennon doubtful for World Cup and more

Togo national team (reuters) 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The deadly attack on the Togo national team prior to the start of the African Cup of Nations left the soccer world stunned, and few disagreed when Togo decided to pull out of the tournament.

The African Football Confederation (CAF) is among those few.

CAF has deemed that Togo left this year's tournament due to governmental interference, and have banned Togo from the next two editions of the African Cup of Nations. CAF blame Togo prime minister Gilbert Huongbo, who ordered the team to return from Angola after it had originally decided to stay.

Togo is planning to file for an appeal, and families of the assistant coach and press officer who were killed (goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale, who was initially reported dead, survived the accident) in the attack are planning to sue CAF and the Angolan state.

Here are more stories from Saturday:

Lennon a doubt for World Cup, Beckham's chances improved

Tottenham midfielder Aaron Lennon is recovering from a groin injury he picked up towards the end of last year, but the speedy winger has suffered a setback after scans revealed an abdominal wall weakness which may require surgery, putting him in danger of missing the World Cup.

If Lennon, who had solidified himself as a right midfielder for the England national team, does not improve in time for the World Cup, then David Beckham's chances of making the World Cup drastically improve. Beckham's chances of starting in England's World Cup opener against the United States also raises, meaning he could square off against LA Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan.

Nigeria claims third place

Nigeria claimed third place in the African Cup of Nations courtesy of a second-half goal from Victor Nsofor Obinna in a 1-0 victory over Algeria. The win marked the fourth time in the last five tournaments that Nigeria walked away as a bronze medalist. Nigerian stars John Obi Mikel, Obafemi Martins and Peter Odemwingie did not start, but all came off the bench in the win.

Terry feeling pressure for alleged affair

John Terry headed home the game winner in Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Burnley on Saturday, but questions remain over the England national team captain's character after being accused of having an affair. To make matters worse, the alleged mistress is the ex-girlfriend of international and former club teammate Wayne Bridge, who said through a statement that he would like to keep the matters private.

Capello vows to stay until 2012

England manager Fabio Capello has confirmed he will lead the Three Lions in the 2012 European Championship, no matter how England finishes in this year's World Cup. Capello told reporters he is enjoying being the manager of England, squashing any rumors of him retiring after this summer's tournament.

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What do you think of Togo's ban? Imagining a Donovan-Beckham duel? Happy to see Nigeria claim third place? Secretly hoping Terry's actions negatively affect the England national team in the coming months? Think Capello staying with England until 2012 is a good decision?

Share your thoughts below.

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