Safety assurances sought
Top flight clubs ask Fifa to look into Angola attack
Last Updated: 08/01/10 8:34pm
Salifou: Shaken but okay
Premier League clubs are preparing to bring their African stars home if assurances cannot be provided over their safety.
Following Friday's attack on the Togo team bus two days before the start of the African Nations Cup in Angola, assurances are being sought.
Manchester City - whose star striker Emmanuel Adebayor was not harmed in the attack in Cabinda - and Portsmouth have contacted the Football Association, asking them to speak to football's world governing body to ensure players' safety can be guaranteed, and calling for them to be sent home if it cannot.
A spokesman for Portsmouth, who have a number of players away on African Nations Cup duty, said: "We will be asking the FA to talk to FIFA to ensure the players' safety. That is paramount, and if the players' safety can't be ensured, then the players should be sent home."
The team bus came under an attack that, according to reports, left the driver dead and nine other passengers injured, including two of the Togo squad.
The Football Association issued a statement on the situation in Angola which read: "Following the terrible attack on the Togo national team in Angola, the Football Association is in contact with various English clubs who have players involved in the African Nations Cup.
"We will continue to ensure we are kept up to speed with all developments and do all we can to assist our clubs and those players involved.
"The FA is currently contacting various organisations, including FIFA."
Chelsea, who have Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel away on Nations Cup duty, released a statement which read: "We are sure that the national teams and federations along with the authorities are taking every necessary security precaution to ensure the safety of the players and staff."
Manchester City released a statement relating to Adebayor, which read: "Manchester City can confirm that striker Emmanuel Adebayor is uninjured after this afternoon's attack on the Togo team bus in Angola.
"Club officials have spoken with Adebayor and, though shaken by the terrible events, he is unharmed.
"The club would like to send its condolences to the family of the driver and sends best wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.
"We are currently in talks with the Football Association over what may happen next."
Aston Villa have also confirmed their midfielder Moustapha Salifou is "shaken but okay" following the attack after managing to make contact with the 26-year-old's brother.
Villa boss Martin O'Neill told his club's official website: "I am really shocked to hear about this.
"Obviously I am pleased and relieved to hear that Moustapha is okay and that he is not among the injured people.
"The club have been in contact with him and he has reassured us that he is okay but he is extremely shocked and upset, which he would be in these circumstances."