Togo's African Cup ban is lifted
Accra, May 14, GNA - Togo has been cleared to compete in the next African Cup of Nations in 2012 after having their ban lifted with immediate effect.
According to information gathered by GNA Sports on Friday, the decision to reinstate Togo was confirmed, as expected, by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive at a meeting in Cairo, Egypt.
CAF banned Togo after the Hawks, the national team pulled out of the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola following a deadly attack on their bus.
The Africa soccer body, CAF were furious that the decision to leave the tournament was not taken by the team but their government in Lome, the Togolese capital.
The Togolese were then suspended and excluded from the next two Nations Cup tournaments in 2012 and 2014.
Togo, however, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with FIFA President Sepp Blatter subsequently stepping in to mediate as well as other world leaders including Ghana's President John Evans Attah Mills pleading on behalf of Togo at an African Union meeting.
A statement on the CAF website read: "The Executive Committee of the African Confederation of Football in its meeting held in Cairo on Friday, at the request of President Issa Hayatou decided to lift the suspension preventing Togo from playing in the upcoming Cup of Nations.
"Following the lifting of the sanction, Togo is now reintegrated in the preliminaries of the African Cup of Nations 2012."
Togo have thus been placed in qualifying Group K, with Tunisia, Botswana, Chad and Malawi.
Unlike groups A-J where only the winners go through, two teams will qualify from Togo's pool and it is now for the Togolese to put their acts together to qualify to the next stage.