International Soccer

Togo bus attacked by rebels (Updated)


Tragedy has struck ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations as several media outlets are reporting an attack on the Togo national team bus that was transporting them to Angola.

The BBC is reporting that a group of armed rebels opened fire on the bus as it crossed the border into the oil-rich nation. A few players and coaches have been reported to be in the hospital in critical condition, with the bus driver the only known fatality so far. Many of the players were able to take cover under the seats while they were being attacked. Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was on the bus but emerged unscathed.

Early reaction from the players is that they will withdraw from the tournament. The team was traveling from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Cabinda, Angola where they were schedule to start play on Monday.

(UPDATE- Nine were injured in the attack, including two players. The tournament will start as planned on Sunday according to reports, with the Togo players determining the fate of their side this weekend. Reports of a Togo boycott have emerged.)

What do you think? Will Togo withdraw from the cup? Is the entire competition in danger?

Share your thoughts below.

  • USA

    First of all Terrorism is different than some Rebels opening fire on a team bus. If that ever happened in the US believe me the “Rebels” would be wiped off the map before they could jump out of their Isuzu


  • UK-DCDave

    Here’s part of the latest issued statement NOTE the number of wounded is at 9 – how awful is this – my prayers with them.

    “The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed the African Cup of Nations will be staged as planned, despite Friday’s deadly attack on the Togo team bus which killed the driver and left nine others wounded.”

    The rebels “flec” stated they are responsible and that this “”This operation is only the start of a series of targeted actions that will continue in all the territory of Cabinda.”


  • vince

    Only foreshadowing of the debacle that is coming in South Africa in June, except every loon in Africa will be there and not just the ones in Angola.

    Stop this joke and move the WC to the US or UK immediately.


  • James

    South Africa is a different country than Angola. It would be like moving the Winter Olympics out of Canada because of the recent drug violence in Mexico.


  • Mark

    Tragic. It’s moments like these when I feel so fortunate to live in the US. Country isn’t perfect, but I do enjoy not being shot at on my commutes to and from work.

    Hope those injured make a complete recovery, and I’d like to see Togo play. I agree with some other posters that if they don’t the rebels win.


  • CornPotatoe

    this is the african cup of nations and im sure there will be way more security for the WC, dont worry about security my man


  • Felix

    The laughable/tragic thing about the Eygptian/Algerian bus incident was that it was being reported in the country that the Algerians staged it…….. insane.


  • Felix

    If there was some serious violence in the Balkans (for example) right before the last WC, would you say that they should move it out of Germany????

    I was afraid statements like this would come out. To me its subconscious racism. I’m sorry. Get mad if you like. People are only saying this because its in Africa.

    HOWEVER, in light of the statements by the FLEC rebels, they should move the games out of Cabinda. For the sake of safety.


  • Felix

    I believe its terrorism. They are “terrorizing” innocent non-combatants for the sake of putting their cause in the forefront of the world.


  • Paul, North Jersey

    What a horrible situation. BBC World News said that the CAF was in complete shock that the Togolese team opted to take a bus through the Congo to Angola, instead of flying like everyone else.


  • Andy

    A major tragedy and I wouldn’t blame the team for leaving the tournament. Things like this just put football into perspective; it’s only a game, afterall.

    At a MINIMUM, the games in that region should be moved.


  • Erik

    Not a very good comparison. The US example was a lone bomber who was out of his mind. He didn’t target a team of people and start shooting up the place.

    Germany was Islamic Terrorists who still haunt the world to this day and targeted Jews.

    Africa on the whole (there are some exceptions) is corrupt and full of violence. Why do you think South Africa got the tournament and not another country? They are one of the more civilized parts of the continent.


  • Erik

    They need to play somehow and show support for those injured or killed. But… the tournament is waste.


  • Alexandria

    Nelson Mandela is not nor has he ever been a terrorist. You should re read that colonial history book you’ve got there!How dare you say that, you uneducated tool!


  • ahm

    agreed. mindless violence to scare and intimidate innocent people is just terrorism. crime is robbing a bank


  • Justin O

    Nigeria has more experience holding such events and the nature of the political situation is/was very different there. Something like this was extremely unlikely there, despite some hysterical blogger’s assertions otherwise.


  • Justin O

    Did he say it was the players’ fault? I certainly didn’t interpret his comments that way.

    Just to play devil’s advocate, if something happened to a group of visiting athletes in a bad part of, say, Detroit, DC, NYC, or another major American city, I’m sure it would at least be mentioned that the players were somewhere they should not have been. That wouldn’t be blaming the players. It would just be providing compete information on the situation.


  • Togo Supporter

    The tournament should be moved or cancelled. To play games Sunday after what happened is disgraceful.


  • DC Josh

    First thing to do is pray, second thing to do is make a logical decision. If I were the coach of the team I would hold a team meeting and let them decide whether or not to participate in the tournament.


  • Josh

    As I understand it (someone feel free to correct), Cabinda is rich in oil but also not contiguous with the rest of Angola. Therefore they’re mostly ignored in terms of gov’t services and programs, but the Angolan gov’t is all too happy to take their oil. The rebels are separatists–they want political autonomy and control of the resources.

    Whatever their motives, shooting innocent bystanders (or anyone else, for that matter) isn’t the best way to go about it. If anything, they’ve managed to piss the gov’t off even more by embarrassing them in front of the world.


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