Tag: Togo

Angola 2010: The African Cup of Nations

Mark Murphy is our man for the African Cup of Nations, which begins this month in Angola. Mark takes us through the runners and riders for the second most important footbll competition that will be played in Africa this year.

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TOGO TOGO TOGO (part three)

France 2-0 Togo / Switzerland 2-0 South Korea Have rumours of the France’s demise been exaggerated? Well, the media have been cruel to them this week, but it hasn’t been entirely without reason. France had been poor, going into this evening’s match against Togo, and this was borne out still further by the fact that it still took them an hour to score against one of the weakest teams in the tournament. Could the veterans turn it on one more time, albeit not quite the same level of opposition that they’ve shone so brightly against in the past? Yes, but only sort of. On the one hand, they created plenty of chances, and (more importantly), they looked as if they could be bothered. The margin of victory was by no means flattering to the French, but the point here is surely that it shouldn’t have needed to be. Togo, already eliminated from the competition and having had the most shambolic back-stage shenanigans of any team in living memory, should have been there for the taking, but as France took pot-shots at the Togolese goal, they couldn’t break them down. All of which reminds me… what exactly is the point of Franck Ribery? Apart from picking the ball up in the centre of midfield and passing the ball ten yards in one direction (not usually the most useful one), he...

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TOGO TOGO TOGO (part two)

Switzerland 2-0 Togo Ah well, we could dream, couldn’t we? A team that contrived to have it’s coach resign three days before it’s first match, only for him to be reinstated the night before. If that wasn’t enough, they then threatened to not play against the Swiss on account of the fact that they still hadn’t been paid their bonus for actually qualifying for the finals in the first place. Still, though, they had put up an almighty fight against the South Koreans in their previous match, and were far from outplayed by the Swiss. As has been pointed out elsewhere, there were no major objections when India pulled out of the 1950 World Cup because they weren’t allowed to play in bare feet. Nowadays, though, every match is live, so FIFA decided to apparently take a two-pronged approach towards dealing with the issue. On the one hand, they offered the Togolese players a payment to turn up and play, but on the other… lengthy bans were mentioned if they didn’t show. Am I the only person to think that, had this been, say, Brazil who were having a similar dispute, that there would be no mention of world-wide bans? It’s open to speculation, of course, but it there’s very little doubt in my mind that there wouldn’t be. For the record, I think they were right to protest...

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