Tag Archives: Togo

Hot Reads: January 11, 2010

It’s been a busy weekend, giving us plenty to write about, and that’s even without contemplating the changes the Eagles will be making in the coming months.

As we sift through the fallout from Mark McGwire’s big announcement today, I managed to find two pieces of commentary that reflected my thoughts on the matter: Gene Wojciechowski’s call for honesty, and Rob Neyer’s view on McGwire’s Hall prospects.

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Jumping continents, we find resolution in the Togo men’s national soccer team tragedy. The Sparrow Hawks, which originally said they would withdraw from the Africa Cup of Nations, decided as  a team to play in memory of the deceased, before changing their mind again and jumping a plane out of Angola. There were reports that they were hoping to return to the tournament later on, but any chance of that has been squashed, as African soccer’s governing body, the CAF, has diqualified them from the tournament for missing their scheduled opening game. With Togo’s track record of recieving hospitality (or basic humanity) this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if the flight attendants spit in the peanuts on the flight back. Continue reading

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Togo tragedy shows sports place on Dark Continent

As a sportswriter, I am all too often reminded that “no one cares” about sports. For many, there is a perception that sports aren’t important; they’re merely a game played for several hours to give those involved and those interested a temporary leave from reality. Anyone who believes that is and idiot.

Unfortunately, the wake-up call for this revelation was all to brutal and tragic this week, as three people involved with the Togo national soccer team—a bus driver, team spokesperson, and assistant coach—were killed when their team bus was riddled with machine gun fire en route to their opening game in the Africa Cup of Nations in Cabinda, Angola.

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The attack by armed rebels also wounded two players, goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale and defender Serge Akakpo, the former of whom was mistakenly reported as dead, and forced the team’s withdrawal from the tournament. The attack occurred in the oil-rich region of Cabinda some six miles past the border with the Republic of the Congo. The team bus was reportedly under siege for some 30 minutes before the Angolan military forced the rebels into retreat.

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