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The former GSI Pontivy goalkeeper can no longer play football or walk properly but is far from giving up hope for a bright future

Former Togo international goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale, who was badly hurt in the gunfire attack on the Sparrow Hawks during the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, was received by Togo’s president Faure Gnassingbe during the weekend, putting to rest rumours that the 27-year-old had been neglected by the state.

He was accompanied by Togo sports minister Christophe Tchao, who told reporters in Lome that the footballer was still in the hearts of many across the west African nation.

Obilale is returning home for the first time following the attack, more than two years after the incident.

“I came to pay a courtesy visit to the president to thank him for all his support, moral and financial. The president said he’d always be by my side. This is an enormous pleasure to me,” Obilale said to reporters at the end of the visit.  

“My health is getting better. My goal today is to get well soon and find a job, change my career and put behind me the nightmare of the gunfire attack.

“Most importantly, I hope to return next time to Togo without walking on crutches,” he added.

The attack took place on January 8 while the Togo team bus was travelling through the Cabinda Province in Angola to participate in the 2010 Afcon.

Three people were killed in the attack while nine others were injured, including Obilale, who was shot in the lower back, with the bullet splitting into several pieces making its way into his stomach.

He is still under rehabilitation at the Kerpape centre in Lorient, France, after parting ways with former club GSI Pontivy.