Togo’s former Coach Tchanilé Bana, who on Tuesday was handed a three-year suspension by the country’s football federation for parading a fake Togo squad in a friendly match against Bahrain, has acknowledged his wrongdoing and apologized to both the Togolese and Bahraini authorities, French radio RFI said on Wednesday.
A panel of investigators mandated by Togolese sports officials found Bana guilty of organising, preparing and monitoring a friendly match against the Bahraini national team in Manama on September 7, in which a completely fake Togolese national team was fielded.
Bana was reported to have cleverly conducted the whole operation without the knowledge of Togo’s football authorities, making a profit of about $200,000.
But Bana says he is sorry.
“I hereby apologize to the Bahrain Football Association, the President of the Republic of Togo, the President of the Togo Football Federation Interim Committee and Togo’s Minister of Sports,” Bana said on RFI.
“I want everybody to forgive me and put an end to this problem so we can consider the future of Togo’s football. We must unite our forces to beat Tunisia come October 10 in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match.”
Also former Niger’s coach, Bana had been serving out a state two-year ban from all sporting activities in Togo, for leading a fake Olympic football team to a tournament in Egypt last May. But he accepts this new three-year punishment without reservation.
“I humbly accept the sanction to stay clear from sports in Togo for some time. I’m solely responsible for what happened,” he said.
But the FA interim committee said investigations were underway to fish out all those who connived with Bana.