Togo’s request to return to the Africa Cup of Nations following three days of mourning has been turned down by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). I find it very disappointing that CAF have not been more sympathetic to Togo. Togo were, after all, in the territory of the nation CAF awarded hosting to when the attack happened.
CAF’s communique on the decision today was blunt: “CAF noted that the Togolese delegation participating in the 27th Orange Africa Cup of Nations – 2010 – Group B of Cabinda left the Angolan territory; it was hence decided to cancel all the matches of the Togolese team in the frame of this group.”
CAF also announced they have signed a four-year sponsorship deal with Samsung, including for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations (that link may not work, as CAF’s website has been going down for extensive periods of time in the past few days).
Between FIFA and CAF, it is shocking to me they could not find a way to give Togo time to recover and return if they wanted, even if it meant an expensive delay to the tournament.
- How former MLS players are there at the Africa Cup of Nations? Like Soccer America, you probably think there is one, Mali’s Bakary Soumare, formerly of the Chicago Fire. Nope: there is also Mozambique’s beautifully named captain, Tico-Tico (Manuel José Luís Bucuane),who played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny for a season (thanks to our own Andrew Guest for the tip).
- Louise Taylor suggests the Football League takes a winter break, which sounds far too sensible to happen.
- There’s an excellent Q&A with the Observer’s Paul Hayward by our friends at European Football Weekends.
- Four Four Two has a pretty fantastic illustrated post on footballers in bad commercials; Pat Jennings’ is surely the best: “You can imagine the scene in the Unipart marketing meeting. The team sat around a large table, bouncing ideas around for their next TV ad, wondering how to bring car parts to life. One of the team nudges his mate before loudly suggesting: “How about we get Pat Jennings to dress up as an oil filter while we shoot black footballs at him? He lives next door to me, and he’s been having car trouble lately.” Now imagine his surprise when he’s given a promotion, a raise, and is charged with the task of shooting at the Northern Irish legend in his lunch break.”
The Sweeper appears every weekday, and once at the weekend. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.