Toronto, Canada – By Julien Pretot
CABINDA, Angola (Reuters) - Togo should have told the African Nations Cup organizing committee (COCAN) they were traveling by bus to Cabinda before their delegation was attacked by separatists in the northern enclave, COCAN said on Wednesday.
An assistant coach and a press officer with the Togo team died after the delegation's bus was ambushed by gunmen on January 8 as the West African side were traveling to Cabinda from Pointe Noire, Congo.
"The teams should travel by plane. Togo did their training camp in Congo and from there, under their decision, travelled to Cabinda by bus," COCAN general director Justino Fernandes was quoted as saying on the organising committee's website (www.can-angola2010.com).
"Both the Confederation (of African Football) and the Organising Committee in Luanda were not aware of the situation," he added, although the Togo team bus was escorted by Angolan police.
"If we had been informed, we would certainly have provided them with an airplane, from Pointe Noire, Congo, to the province of Cabinda.
"We had no idea that Togo would be traveling by road from Congo to Cabinda."
Togo withdrew from the competition after a three-day mourning period was ordered by their president and left Angola on January 10.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)