[QODLink]
Football

Togo player refuses to play in Libya

Alaixys Romao will miss Togo's World Cup qualifier against Libya citing security concerns as he heads back to France.

Last Modified: 11 Jun 2013 11:13
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Marseille signed French-born Togolese midfielder Alaixys Romao in February 2013 [AFP]

Togo midfielder Alaixys Romao has decided not to play Friday's soccer World Cup qualifier in Libya because of safety concerns, saying on Twitter that he was heading back to France where he plays in Ligue 1.

Togo were the targets of an attack during the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola when separatist gunmen ambushed their bus in the Cabinda province, killing three members of the squad and forcing them to withdraw from the tournament.

FIFA have moved Friday's Group I qualifier to Tripoli after clashes between protesters and a militia killed at least 31 people on Saturday in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, where the game was initially scheduled to take place.

However, Romao said the move was not enough to convince him to play.

"I'm about to take off from Lome to come back to France," Romao, who plays for Olympique Marseille, said on Twitter.

"After having been through a traumatising experience in 2010 at the African Nations Cup in Angola, I don't want my family to live with that stress again," said the 29-year-old, who has 50 international caps.

"Tripoli or Benghazi, what's the difference? I will change my mind only if FIFA's officials who have made the decision come with us." 

Libya, whose former ruler Muammar Gaddafi was toppled during the 2011 civil war, drew at home with Democratic Republic of Congo in their first home game in more than two years on Friday, played under high security in Tripoli.

They top the four-team group with six points from four games, with Togo bottom on four.

251

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.