FanDuel - WFBC

January 08, 2010

Togo team bus attacked in Angola before African Cup : Gunmen opened fire Friday on the bus carrying the Togo national football team in Angola, reportedly wounding several players ahead of the African Cup of Nations. “We were machine-gunned like dogs,” Togo player Thomas Dossevi, who plays for French club Nantes, told Radio Monte Carlo. “They were armed to the teeth ... We spent 20 minutes underneath the seats of the bus.” RMC reported that 3 players were seriously injured in the attack — Serge Gakpe, who plays for Monaco, Serge Akakpo of Romanian club Vaslui and Kodjovi Obilale of French lower league team Pontivy. The team’s top player, Emmanuel Adebayor, was not hurt, according to his club Manchester City.


posted by tommytrump to soccer at 01:50 PM - 6 comments

That is just awful. I suspect Togo will pull out of the tournament now.

posted by holden at 02:06 PM on January 08

Damn. That bodes ill, for the African Cup as well as for the coming World Cup in South Africa. I can imagine players from all over the world feeling chary about exposing themselves to this level of risk. What a shame.

posted by Hugh Janus at 04:51 PM on January 08

Another report mentions it could have been much worse.

''It was the bus carrying our baggage which was in front of us which they fired on the most,'' he told Canal Plus. ''They thought we were in the bus in front.

posted by WolfpackMD at 05:09 PM on January 08

Togo have now pulled out of the tournament.

posted by afx237vi at 09:16 AM on January 09

Two more people have died from their injuries -- a coach and a press officer.

The event organizers are saying that they told all teams not to travel by road to the tournament, but for some reason Togo disregarded this.

I can understand why people from Africa would feel differently about traveling there than outsiders would, but Emmanuel Adebayor is a $40 million a year soccer star. The idea that he and some of the other high-profile players would be driving through dangerous regions of the world by bus seems mind-boggling to me.

posted by rcade at 11:16 AM on January 09

I can understand why people from Africa would feel differently about traveling there than outsiders would, but Emmanuel Adebayor is a $40 million a year soccer star.

Adebayor was transferred/sold for about $40M last offseason, but makes a fair bit less than $40M annually. One of the things that is somewhat surprising considering the popularity of soccer is how much less the top players earn than the top players in the big three American sports. This story is almost two years old, but as you can see the top players then were making just over $10M annually.

Obviously does not change the point that a lot of teams have a lot of money invested in these players (particularly when accounting for transfer fees). Actually, the whole investment in players by club teams v. obligations of national teams generally (i.e., just playing matches generally, not traveling to dangerous areas) is a sore spot for a lot of clubs/managers, as injuries and the like on international duty end up giving rise to compensation claims, verbal sparring between club and international managers in the press, etc.

posted by holden at 11:30 AM on January 09

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