Ayite haunted by gun attack
Nancy striker Floyd Ayite remains haunted by the memories of Friday's attack on the Togo team bus.
Last Updated: 12/01/10 11:52am
Nancy striker Floyd Ayite remains haunted by the vivid memories of Friday's deadly gun attack on the Togo team bus.
The Togo squad were travelling to the African Cup of Nations last week when their convoy was machine-gunned by Angolan armed rebels in Cabinda in a devastating attack which left three people dead.
After much deliberation, the Togo team flew home from the tournament in the wake of the atrocity, with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) later announcing they had been disqualified.
The 21-year-old Ayite, who is on loan from Bordeaux, escaped unscathed but is not yet ready to return to the Nancy team.
"I need to be with those close to me and to talk to them," Ayite told radio station France Bleu. "I will never be able to forget this tragedy but I have to manage to live with it better.
"As soon as I doze off I hear again the shots, the machine guns, the rockets...
"It was war and it's not so easy just to walk away undamaged."
Meanwhile, Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of South Africa's World Cup organising committee, will make his feelings known to the CAF about the circumstances surrounding Togo's disqualification.
Jordaan, who sits on the African Nations Cup committee, sympathised with the Togo team's decision to pull out.
Asked whether CAF's description of their exit as a disqualification was insensitive, Jordaan said: "I prefer to make my observations and my own assessments on what has happened and deal directly with CAF, which I'll do.
"Any football tournament is about celebrating life, it is about seeing the best ability of the best footballers and that is what Togo wanted to show.
"Togo have not qualified for the World Cup finals so the African Nations Cup was a special platform for them.
"In these tragic circumstances one can understand if the team says from a mental or psychological point of view that it is difficult to continue. My sympathy would be with the team.
"One hopes that these matters will be understood in that context."
Jordaan reiterated his stance that the attack in Angola had no bearing on South Africa's own plans to host the World Cup this summer and pointed to the country's successful record of hosting sporting events in recent years.
"We started back in 1994 when we first made a bid for the 2006 World Cup and since then we have hosted 147 major events," he said.
"Last year alone we hosted the Confederations Cup, the British and Irish Lions tour, we had Manchester City (for pre-season friendlies), we had the Tri-Nations, we had Super 14 matches and a host of other events which ended with the World Cup finals draw in Cape Town (last month).
"We have looked at every area of security - route security, hotels, training venues, base camps, fan parks and stadium security and that is part of a comprehensive security plan which has been tested over all of those events."