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Togo banned from hosting World Cup qualifiers

15 November 2007 20:07

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Togo have been barred from hosting 2010 World Cup qualifiers after violence during a home match with Mali last month.

An African Football Confederation (CAF) 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 30,000-dollar fine for failing to provide adequate security which endangered the lives of players and officials.

The World Cup qualifiers double as elimination matches for the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola.

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