In existence since 1957, the Africa Cup of Nations is by far the biggest soccer celebration played on the Black Continent. The last edition, however, became infamous after a successful assassination attempt on the Togo national team, who were travelling to the tournament by coach. Now it looks like all history may be repeating itself.
In existence since 1957, the Africa Cup of Nations is by far the biggest soccer celebration played on the Black Continent. However, the last edition became quite infamous after a successful assassination attempt was made on the Togo national team, who were heading to the tournament by coach. Now it looks like the whole story may repeat itself.
The 2010 PNA was organized in Angola. The decision on where to hold the tournament almost from the beginning aroused controversy because of the lack of stability and security guarantees throughout the country. Nevertheless, the African Football Federation (CAF) did not change its mind and still insisted on organizing the event in Angola. The effects of this decision did not have to wait long. Just before the start of the Cup there was a tragic situation in which the bus of the Togo national team was shot at by local rebels. As a result of the attack, 3 people died – the bus driver, assistant coach and the national team spokesman. The Togo team was on its way to the Africa Cup of Nations at the time.
So as far as the safety of the next edition (in 2012 the PNA will be hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon), the event planned for 2013 (recently returned to the system of organizing the tournament in odd-numbered years) raises considerable doubts.
A few years ago CAF made the choice of hosts of the African Cup of Nations up to and including 2017. In the case of the 2013 tournament organizer was chosen. Libya. At the time, the whole idea still seemed like a pretty interesting project. However, the situation changed dramatically in February this year, when there was a revolt against Kadaffi’s regime in Libya. There is no need to explain why most African teams are afraid to share the fate of the Togo team during the coup in early 2010.
However, the African football governing body has so far remained unmoved by the threats of a trip to Libya. CAF seems to believe that by 2013 the situation in the future host country will have stabilised and that the Libyans will be able to cope with the challenge.
Hicham El Amrani, an official of the African federation said: “As of today the 2013 tournament is still Libya’s responsibility. But that doesn’t mean CAF doesn’t have a plan B or C in mind.”