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Last Updated: Monday, 23 June, 2003, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Samba mix inspires Togo
Durosimi Thomas
BBC Sport

Brazilian flag
Brazilian flag flies high in Togo.
Togo have fortified their Nations Cup qualifying campaign with the inclusion of five Brazilian-born players.

Four of the recently naturalised Togolese internationals have already played for the national team.

Alessandro Faria, Jesus Fabio de Oliveira, Christiano Parreira and Jefferson de Souza played a key role in the Hawks recent wins over Cape Verde and Kenya.

The link between the quintet and Togo is Antonio Dumas, the Hawks' Brazilian trainer.

Dumas has worked in several African countries, including Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

He is said to have spotted the five and convinced them to adopt Togolese nationality.

It is also argued that the Brazilians have Togolese ancestry.

Togolese fans have warmly welcomed the infusion of latin American skill into their Nations Cup campaign.

After Sunday's win over Kenya, Faria and two other Brazilian team mates were mobbed by jubilant fans.

Some say that the Brazilians players, all of African descent, have Togolese ancestry.

Names like 'de Souza' and 'Parreira' are common names in Togo.

With six points from their last two games, the Hawks are placed second in their group. Kenya are the group leaders.

But even if Togo win in Mauritania on 4 July, only a Kenyan home loss to Cape Verde would secure their passage to Tunisia.

Such a strong Brazilian presence could push the Hawks to heights never attained before.

Togo has never played beyong the group stage at the Nations Cup finals.


SEE ALSO
Togo dent Kenya's challenge
22 Jun 03  |  African
Togo beat Cape Verde
08 Jun 03  |  African

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