Togo lose home ground advantage


An African Football Confederation statement said the ban covers three games, meaning Togo will lose home advantage in all their second-round matches against rivals who will be known after the November 25 draw in South Africa.

This is a potentially fatal blow to the ‘Sparrowhawks’, who stunned Africa by reaching the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where rows over unpaid bonuses brought shame to the tiny West African nation.

After Mali defeated Togo 2-0 in a match to decide which country qualified for the 2008 African Nations Cup, visiting players Frederic Kanoute and Mahamadou Sidibe were attacked by home supporters.

Sidibe, from English Championship club Stoke City, needed surgery for a knife wound to his arm and fellow striker Kanoute, of Spanish giants Sevilla, required stitches after being struck with a belt at Kegue Stadium in Lome.

Caf said the Togolese Football Association must pay a R200 000 fine for failing to provide adequate security which endangered the lives of players and officials.