Toronto, Canada – CABINDA, Angola (Reuters) - Togo have been officially disqualified from the African Nations Cup after the squad flew home on Sunday following the deadly gun attack on their bus in Cabinda two days earlier.
"They are disqualified. This group (B) is a three-team tournament," Confederation of African Football (CAF) co-ordinator Yaouba Amoa told reporters on Monday.
Togo's assistant coach and media officer were killed and reserve goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale seriously wounded by separatists from the enclave of Cabinda in Friday's attack.
Togo midfielder Thomas Dossevi described the CAF decision as "ridiculous."
"It would have been simple for us to come back and play on January 21, I think Ghana would have agreed to that," he told Reuters by telephone.
Togo left Angola 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 tournament.
Several players spoke of their willingness to play on but they were ordered home by Togo's government.
The CAF official said it would be impossible to change the tournament schedule.
(Additional reporting by Julien Pretot in Cabinda)
(Writing by Mark Gleeson, editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Jimenez)