Toronto, Canada – LUANDA (Reuters) - Togo will be disqualified from the African Nations Cup finals if they do not show up for Monday's Group B match against Ghana in Cabinda, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said Monday.
"We have not heard anything official from them. They have never officially told us they are not going to play or they are going to play. We are only hearing from them in the media," a senior CAF official told Reuters Monday.
"The referee has been ordered to start the match and if Togo are not there, then they will be declared to have withdrawn and be disqualified."
It is not clear whether Ghana will have to go through the pretence of preparing for the match and taking to the pitch. A decision will be made closer to the kickoff, the official said.
The Togo squad departed the tournament Sunday after Friday's attack on their team bus. Their assistant coach and press officer were killed and reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale seriously wounded by separatists from the enclave of Cabinda.
Togo left on a chartered flight sent to collect them after the attack but had expressed the hope they might be able to return and compete at the Nations Cup.
Several players spoken of their willingness to play on at the tournament but Togo's government said it had ordered them home.
Captain Emmanuel Adebayor told reporters at Cabinda airport that Togo might come back and attempt to play their Group B fixtures.
The CAF official, however, said that it would be impossible to change the tournament schedule.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson, Editing by Ed Osmond)