Togo wants African qualifier in Tunisia moved over security
LOME, Togo (AP) — Togo asked the Confederation of African Football on Friday to move its African Cup qualifier in Tunisia this month because of safety concerns.
Tunisian security forces have been involved in deadly clashes with militants on the country’s southern border with Libya this week.
Although the March 25 Togo vs. Tunisia qualifier is to be hosted in the north-eastern city of Monastir, the Togo Football Federation wants it moved to a neutral country. Togo’s federation made the request in a letter to CAF.
The game “is a big concern for us in the view of the current situation prevailing in Tunisia,” Togo Football Federation secretary general Pierre Lamadokou said.
In 2010, the Togo team bus was attacked by separatists in Angola as the squad traveled to the African Cup of Nations. The team’s assistant coach and media officer were killed and several players injured.
Meanwhile, Togo coach Tom Saintfiet said he’s been in regular contact with Emmanuel Adebayor to try and convince the Crystal Palace striker to make himself available for the national team again. Adebayor failed to respond to call-ups to the squad for qualifiers last year, prompting Saintfiet to say he would no longer select him. But the Belgian coach said he’s trying again.
“As the national coach, I want him to be there,” Saintfiet said. “Hopefully, we will succeed in convincing him in the coming days.”