A needless tragedy.

Author:Obayiuwana, Osasu
Position:Confederation of African Football - Editorial

There are really no words strong enough to succinctly convey the depth of sorrow and searing fury that I (and other indignant members of the African football family) feel over the murder of three members of Togo's national team delegation travelling to the oil-rich Angolan enclave of Cabinda for the African Cup of Nations.


The deadly 30-minute machine-gun ambush on 8 January by cowardly members of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), has left a bloody, indelible stain on the African game,

As the national team and people of Togo come to terms with the irreparable loss of assistant coach Amalete Abalo and media spokesman Stanislas Ocloo, while the wounded players recover, we at African Football and indeed, the entire IC Publications stable, extend our deepest sympathies to them.

Never, in its 53-year history, has the Nations Cup had to cope with the scourge of terrorism.

And had the Confederation of African Football (CAF), led by Cameroonian Issa Hayatou, faced the stark realities of Angola's geopolitics when selecting match venues for the 2010 tournament, this chapter of bloodshed would have been avoided.

Anyone with a basic knowledge of Angolan history is acutely aware that the end of the three-decade civil war did not bring peace to Cabinda.

FLEC has been fighting for the territory of Cabinda--separated from the mainland by a slither of Congolese territory--to secede from Angola.

It is obvious that the Angolan government, for whom Cabinda is their petrodollar ATM, was keen to showcase the region as a serene, peaceful place.

But it was the duty of CAF not to have capitulated to the political pressure of the Angolans to play Nations Cup matches there. They should have...

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