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Togo To Appeal Nations Cup Ban - Sports Minister   
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The casket containing the remains of two Togolese sports officials who lost their lives in Cabinda, Angola.
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Togo, banned from competing in the next two African Nations Cups after pulling out of this year's competition over security concerns, will appeal the suspension, the country's sports minister told Reuters on Saturday.

"We shall launch an appeal. What is sure is that we will use all legal means to enforce our rights regarding their decision," Christophe Tchao said by telephone.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) handed Togo the ban earlier on Saturday after its government told the team to withdraw from this year's tournament in Angola after two members of the delegation were killed in an ambush.

A Togolese assistant coach and a press officer died along with the driver following the ambush on their bus in the northern Angolan province of Cabinda on 8 January, prompting the government to recall the team for three days of mourning.

The Hawks initially wanted to compete in Group B with Ivory Coast, Ghana and Burkina Faso, but quit on 10 January - the tournament's start date - on 10 January on their national government's orders.

But African football's governing body says the decision to pull the team out amounted to governmental interference in the sport.

Meanwhile, the families of the assistant coach and the press officer were taking legal action against the Caf and the Angolan state, their lawyer said.

"We are taking legal action because our compatriots were killed because of the mistakes of the Confederation of African Football (and) its president Mr Issa Hayatou," lawyer Alexis Aquereburu said.

"(The legal claim is) also against the Angolan state for putting in danger the life of our compatriots by organising this African Nations Cup in a war zone."

The armed wing of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), embroiled in a decades-long separatist struggle, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The FLEC has fought a 30-year war against Angola's government for independence.

One grievance is that Cabindans see little of the money from oil that comes from their land.
Source: Reuters

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