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

  1. jack says:

    the ban is rediculous

  2. anovato says:

    haha, this is such a joke

  3. Andrew says:

    That ban is unbelievable. The CAF is making themselves look ridiculous.

  4. Cindy says:

    that ban is ridiculous and JT’s a douche.

  5. DC Josh says:

    Ban is ubsurd. There is no way it stands.

    I really hope Lennon can make the World Cup. I want England’s starters 100% for June 12th. But it must be said it’s nice to have Beckham as your backup winger.

  6. bryan says:

    SO dumb. i cannot believe this.

  7. Jamie Z. says:

    I generally don’t like to jump in with polar opinions, but I’ve been positively stewing over this for the better part of the afternoon. I think the ban is farcical, no matter how you look it at. It’s just ridiculous. I really hope it’s overturned on appeal, for the sake of Togo, the memory of the victims of the attack, the CAF, and African football as a whole.

  8. jdeezy says:

    Disgusting & flat out unacceptable from CAF.

    As if the tournament wasn’t already controversial enough being in the middle of the season, club conflicts, security concerns, etc. Then the horrible tragedy (which, by the way, the host nation WAS chosen by CAF was it not? Could be wrong but…should they not share some of the responsibility in the first place?).

    And THIS is how they respond?

    Call me crazy…but considering the world’s largest sporting event will be taking place in Africa this summer, you’d think the federation would be sensitive to the heightened global scrutiny at the moment.

    FIFA (or somebody) needs to step in.

    Better yet, the high profile African stars should take a stand & threaten to boycott the next tournament. Eto, Drogba, Essien, etc…..need to publicly make it known that this type of selfish insensitivity from CAF is not ok.

  9. Felix says:

    To ban Togo from the next two ACN has to be one of the most profoundly stupid moves I have ever seen.
    Who advises these people????????

  10. JR says:

    Lennon out is great news, but they still have young, swp, and walcott to do pretty much the same things lennon would do…id love it if beckham’s slow corpse was their answer, but id bet they keep with speed on the wings…especially vs the slow usa back 4

  11. KungFuSoccer says:

    Yes, we should punish all victims of terrorism to teach them a lesson. That way it will never happen again.

    Are we sure that story wasn’t republished from “theonion.com”?

  12. Article 78 of CAF regulations: “A forfeit notified less than 20 days before the start or during the final competition shall entail in addition of the forfeit of the entry fee, a maximum fine stipulated by the regulations as well as the suspension of the concerned national association for the following two editions of the African Cup of Nations.”

    Let me get this straight. Members of this organization were SHOT AND KILLED by an organized group of militants, and you’re going to penalize them for lack of notice? “Hi, I’m with the Togo football team. I’m afraid we’re going to have to forfeit our matches in 20 days because we’re going to be shot at on our way to the tournament. Thanks.”

    That is messed up on so many levels…

  13. Jon from Chicago says:

    Heartless. nuff said…

  14. SeattleStan says:

    I seriously couldn’t believe that ban. Good thing Haiti isn’t in Africa, they might have got some kind of ban as well…ugh, absolutely horrible

  15. Bryan J. says:

    Ditto on CAF being ridiculous

  16. unternehmen says:

    Yes–it’s not right. I wonder if the CAF is trying to make a point in saying that politicians should not determine what the team does. (Remember that Togo players decided to stay, but the government of Togo recalled them.)

    If that is the CAF’s intention, it will backfire. Already a storm is brewing over this. And rightly so–the sanctions should be on Angola for scheduling games in Cabinda, a region deemed dangerous for a long time.

  17. jdeezy says:

    Good point. W/o question I think that’s very much the case here. The CAF is attempting to send a clear message regarding the political involvement component.

    And yet, still very clearly horrendous judgment on their part.

    And you’re right, it will absolutely backfire.

  18. Jdavids says:

    The ban on Togo is in worse taste than Silvio Berlusconi.

  19. jpc says:

    John Terry’s always been a loser. Capello wanted a “big personality” captain. He got it.

    Too bad for Lennon, while I don’t pity England (b/c we have a millions injuries ourselves), I do feel bad for any young kid that’s gonna miss out on a dream due to an injury.

  20. Jorge says:

    This is just ACN’s PR nightmare waiting to happen.

  21. inkedAG says:

    It is unbelievable that Togo are banned from the ACN!! They were shot at and people died!!!

    As for John Terry’s tabloid worthy tryst…it is so awesome that he was voted Dad of The Year last year.

  22. CSD says:

    Nice new scandal from JT. But this still has to be my favorite John Terry story:

    link to dailymail.co.uk

  23. CSD says:

    With the Togo ban, I am sure CAF can all work it out. Guys like Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir,Gaddafi and Mugabee all seem like some logical guys that love to work out problems for the betterment of all involved. If you ask them they will all tell you people love them and they are givers. They’ll work it out.

  24. JR says:

    Issa Hayatou now appears ready to be the next president of FIFA.

  25. einar says:

    I am guessing he is the president of the CAF? retarded ban. not even jack warner would do such a thing. also how come no one has mantioned the 30 soccer players of the Haiti national team killed from the quake? Beckham vs. donovan is what i was hopeing for.

  26. Tres says:

    OK, we’ve got one “rediculous” and one “ubsurd.” Can I get a “ludacrus”?!

  27. An Anon says:

    See: rape victims.

    “But they were getting to the tournament by bus! They were asking for it!”

  28. over there says:

    Having lived on 3 continents, and having seen a good bit of the world, I pride myself on having cultural understanding, but African logic still escapes me.

  29. jackie says:

    african soccer is run by morons. not suprised though.

    africa in general is run by morons

  30. jackie says:

    so in england to be dad of the year one has to a have mistress on the side?

    must be nice !

  31. Sean says:

    I don’t like this ban on Togo.I know it’s the rules, but seriously? Considering the circumstances, you can’t blame him for having his countrymen return home out of concern for their safety. I’m sure you can make an exception just this once.

    Also, John Terry for got the old axiom. Bros before hoes. You definitely can’t snake your friend’s girl.

  32. Northzax says:

    African soccer is run by morons. Not suprised though, international soccer in general is run by morons.

    There. Fixed it for ya.

  33. TimN says:

    Don’t EVER count on FIFA stepping in when it counts or matters. They have NO BACKBONE, and hide behind their rules when the going gets tough.

  34. Scott A says:

    F John Terry. I still remember the 9/11 jokes he made

  35. Cindy says:

    what? seriously? i must have missed that. fantastic human being, we should all strive to follow in his footsteps.

  36. madmax says:

    “CAF has deemed that Togo left this year’s tournament due to governmental interference,” but not machine gun fire? Is that a normal day at the office?

    I would like to see the Euro based players stand with Togo and boycott the next two tournaments.

  37. Jamie Z. says:

    Incunceevabul!

  38. Stu says:

    In case anybody wonders why there isn’t much coverage of the African Cup of Nations, I’d say this is a good reason why.

    What a Mickey Mouse outfit CAF is.

  39. Andrew says:

    John Terry made 9/11 jokes?

  40. Martek says:

    Bot, it just puts the truth to the old adage, there is no situation so bad that CAF, brandishing all of the qualities that have made it into the organization we know today, can’t make it infinitely worse. This is absurd on its face, and the more you look at it, the more absurd it gets. Truly remarkable.

    THIS JUST IN: CAF put in charge of deciding the fate of John Terry’s captaincy of the English team. (Fill in your own punch line here).

  41. freelancer says:

    He did, along with the whole Chelsea side. I believe Frank Lampard was on the team also. They were all drunk and effing with a couple of Americans about 9/11 in an airport hotel pub right after 9/11 who were trying to get back to the states, flights were not allowed in the air at the time….absolutely sickening and the reason I can’t stand Chelsea.

  42. Mingjai says:

    What are the CAF thinking? When I saw the story on SoccerNet, I was pretty angry. I’m not confident in FIFA doing anything about it, either.

    Maybe as a gesture of goodwill, CONCACAF or CONMEBOL could invite Togo to the Gold Cup or the Copa America.

  43. ThaDeuce says:

    Wayne Bridge, who is he?

  44. Roger says:

    How about “preposteriss”?

  45. Andrew says:

    CONMEBOL should extend Togo a standing invitation for as long as they are banned by CAF – two guest teams are needed to make up the numbers at every Copa America anyway.

  46. United says:

    I think it was a group of 4 or 5 players, so not the whole team. No need to exaggerate the sad truth here and wrongly include the upstanding members of the Chelsea squad. I guess by ‘upstanding’ I mean not completely a prick – it’s all relative at Chelsea.

  47. Sergio of SF says:

    Good idea.

  48. jmadsen says:

    Farsikle. Absalutly farsickle!

  49. unternehmen says:

    Wow—great idea! You should write CONCACAF and CONEMBOL with that one. I would really like to see them play in either tournement.

  50. B1879 says:

    So John Terry continued his record of scoring away from home yesterday?

  51. ELAC says:

    What a bunch of nimrods.
    I’m a TOGO fan for sure now.
    IDIOTS!

  52. Mike says:

    This is a matter for FIFA. Absurd decision.

  53. ELAC says:

    Genius. I wish I thought of that. Kudos, Andrew.

  54. Bootsy says:

    People aren’t bothering to read WeatherManNX01’s post. As awful, cruel, and stupid as this decision of CAF’s is, it’s entirely by the letter of their rules. It’s an insane rule, but it’s a rule. That means that while there was little chance of FIFA stepping in if it had been an arbitrary ruling, there’s *zero* chance of FIFA stepping in now.

    What you don’t understand is that this basically boils down to CAF and FIFA getting a black eye over the incident. The Foreign Office of Angola had made very clear for years that travellers shouldn’t go to Cabinda because it was too unsafe. But Angola’s Fed, CAF, and FIFA signed off on having games there and asserted it’d be OK. Well, it wasn’t. If they didn’t blame Togo — “they should have backtracked hundreds of miles to take a plane. And they were dressed like they wanted it, too.” — then they’d have to admit their mistakes. There’s no chance whatsoever that CAF or FIFA would ever, ever do that. Ever.

    For more info, see this piece, which references predictions made months before of exactly what happened, and the type of deceit practiced by CAF and FIFA.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1242150/Martin-Samuel-Rape-murder-rife–guarantee-safety-Angola-deceitful-fateful.html

  55. unternehmen says:

    In the subsequent uproar, the ban will be overturned. Betcha a coke on that one.

  56. Maybe the John Terry thing will be a locker room distraction for the English team and be a positive for the USA team.

  57. freelancer says:

    I don’t care if its 4 or 44, they’re still professional footballers and are responsible for being ambassadors to club and country….so yes, they are all pricks as far as I’m concerned…Where was the leadership at Chelsea? Oh wait, there wasn’t any! Despicable.

  58. IzfallingDowne says:

    He is London Bridge’s brother. London was a center back for WestHam.

  59. TonyaHarding says:

    Terry is what people in America would call trailer park trash.

  60. There is no logic behind this call what so ever. There must be some political reason or it. The team should not be punished because they were attacked. Now they are attacked twice!!