In an interview with Al Heddaf, Togo national team coach Hubert Velud has expressed shock and anger at CAF’s decision to ban the West African country for four years and also fine them $50,000 for pulling out of the African Cup of Nations due to “government interference” following the machine gun attack that left two of their delegation killed and others injured.
“It’s a scandal. This decision shocked us. I wonder on what logical basis such a decision was taken. Everyone knows that the morale of the players hit rock bottom after seeing death in Cabinda. It was impossible for them to play a football match,” he explained.
When asked whether he was frustrated with CAF, Velud went a step further: “No not with CAF, with [Issa] Hayatou because I realized that he’s an opportunist who serves his personal interests in the name of football. I’m more frustrated than you can imagine.”
“Issa Hayatou should have taken into consideration the sentiments of the Togolese people before such a decision was taken. Hayatou proved that he’s not capable of running CAF, he should review himself. I also realized that even if he’s Cameroonian, he’s not part of the African continent to which he does great harm.”
The trainer was also asked whether or not he was waiting for from a reaction from FIFA and made it clear that, sadly, he did not expect them to respond.
“If FIFA opted to keep silent about the aggression on the Algerian delegation in Cairo and haven’t taken a decision on it until now then how do you want them to take one about our situation? I’m waiting for severe sanctions against Egypt in that affair. And if it doesn’t happen then you can talk about a crime against sport in general and against football in particular,” he fumed.
“It’s shameful to have these doubles standards for the people of the same continent.”
In closing, the Frenchman asked that all African Federations put pressure on CAF and threaten to boycott upcoming tournaments in order to get the ban and the financial sanction fully overturned.