Togo African Cup of Nations
The Togo goalkeeper, Kossi Agassa, who plays for the French club Istres, told France-Info radio today that the Togo assistant coach Abalo Ametele and press officer Stan Ocloo had died as well as the driver, while the striker Jonathan Ayite confirmed that the reserve-team goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale had died of his injuries but there is some confusion about his condition. Eight other people also suffered injuries in the ambush.
It had been widely reported in the French media that Obilale had died but a statement from his club, the French team GSI Pontivy, read: "According to news given by coach Alain Le Dour and GSI Pontivy president Philippe Le Mestre, Kodjovi Obilale is not dead, despite the news reported on the internet, radio and television, and has been moved to South Africa."
But the Togo forward Ayite told French radio station RMC: "He [Obilale] is dead and even if you bring the president and even [US president Barack] Obama himself, we're leaving immediately, we're going back home. Ghana and the Ivory Coast are in solidarity with us."
The coach of Obilale's club - French amateur side Pontivy - Alain Le Dour added on L'Equipe: "We have been called to give us this news but we have not yet had it in an official manner. It is very difficult to have more precise information. Yesterday we didn't know where he took a bullet. We were told that he was successfully operated on and we talked about a transfer to South Africa. Officially we don't know any more."
Togo's midfielder Alaixys Romao confirmed the players were at the airport waiting to return home, and were also encouraging other teams to pull out of the competition. "We're waiting for the plane to return to Lome, " the Grenoble player told L'Equipe.
"We're also talking to the other teams in our group to try to convince them to boycott the competition too." Togo were due to kick off their campaign against Ghana on Monday.
The Togo football federation's head of communication later suggested that the team had not withdrawn, however, claiming it would consult with the players before deciding whether to pull out. "We are going now to see and talk to the players and then make a decision whether or not we take part in the competition, " said Messan Attelou.
Manchester City confirmed their striker Emmanuel Adebayor - the Togo captain - was returning home. "He is on his way back from Angola but we are not sure exactly where his flight is headed, " said City spokesman Simon Heggie. "The lines of communication between the club and Emmanuel have been open all day, we have spoken to his advisors and his girlfriend and he is coming home."
Adebayor had earlier admitted in the aftermath of the attack that many of the squad's players wanted to go home. "I think a lot of players want to leave. I don't think they want to be at this tournament any more because they have seen their death already, " he said. "Most of the players want to go back to their family. No one can sleep after what they have seen. They have seen one of their team-mates have a bullet in his body, who is crying, who is losing consciousness and everything."
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