The move by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to suspend Togo from participating in the next two African Cup of Nations tournaments is unfair, to say the least.
The suspension follows the withdrawal of Togo from the tournament hosted by Angola, which ended on Sunday, with Egypt retaining the title for the third consecutive time.
We strongly condemn the insensitivity of the CAF decision in suspending Togo from the African Cup games. The Togolese football team had suffered a horrific attack in Cabinda on January 8, just two days before the tournament began, while on their way to the 2010 Africa Games in Angola. Some members of the team lost their lives, while several others were injured and others suffered from major psychological shock.
CAF also fined the Togo football federation $50, 000 for their withdrawal. This is outrageous and uncalled for!
The government of Togo and the people of Togo have suffered an immeasurable loss, which calls for a high degree of compassion and understanding from the African Football fraternity.
The issue of interference by governments in the running of football cannot in this case apply, as we belief it is the responsibility of the Togolese government to protect its citizens.
Togo withdrew from the tournament following the attack in Cabinda, which was reportedly carried out by rebels. Three members of the team were killed during the bloody attack, while the team's goalkeeper was taken to South Africa for an operation.
The CAF should think of how to sympathise with Togo rather than suspending them from the tournament. To us, this is not fair, and we urge CAF to revisit its decision.
Football is about uniting and bringing people closer, and not the opposite.
Togo's absence at the tournament is not deliberate, but as a result of reasons beyond their control.
We once again joined our Togolese brothers and sisters in mourning their loved ones. Football is all about fair play.