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Court of Arbitration for Sport delays Togo ban decision

Players in shock after the attack (video grab)
Two members of the Togolese party were killed in the attack

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has rejected Togo's appeal for a provisional reversal of their ban from the next two Africa Cup of Nations.

Its decision means Togo will not be in Saturday's draw for the 2012 qualifying matches which begin in September.

However, Cas has said if it eventually finds in Togo's favour, the draw should be restaged at a later date.

Togo were banned by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) after pulling out of the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola.

They withdrew after a gun attack on their party killed two people and injured several others, on the insistence of the Togolese government.

When they announced the move, Caf said the Togolese players had wanted to stay, and therefore the decision to pull them out amounted to "government interference".

The imposition of the ban sparked a vocal campaign within Togo to have the decision reversed.

Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor joined those who voiced their opposition to the move by Caf, calling it "outrageous".

Protesters burn an effigy of the president of the Confederation of African Football Issa Hayatou during a protest march held in Lome.
The decision to ban Togo sparked major protests in Lome

The country's coach Hubert Velud said he wanted to involve the heads of Fifa and Uefa, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini in the campaign.

The draw for qualifying for the 2012 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon takes place on Saturday.

The interim committee running football in Togo appealed to Cas to try and get the ban overturned.

The West African regional political body Ecowas has backed Togo's bid to be included in the draw.

In a statement, Cas said its dismissal of Togo's call for a provisional lifting of the ban "would not call in question the participation of the team in the first qualifying matches for the CAN 2012 which will start in September 2010".

It added that Caf confirmed there would be "no material obstacle to the organisation of a new draw in the event that the appeal of the Football Federation of Togo is upheld".

The draw takes place in Lubumbashi and with Togo's absence there will 42 countries in the hat, according to Caf.

They will be drawn into nine groups of four teams and two groups of three teams.

The top team in each group will qualify for Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, plus the three best performing second placed teams.

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see also
CAS confirms Togo appeal over ban
14 Feb 10 |  African
Mass protest at Togo football ban
06 Feb 10 |  Africa
Togolese to fight 'insulting' ban
01 Feb 10 |  African
Togo given Africa Nations Cup ban
30 Jan 10 |  African
Caf chief defiant on Togo attack
25 Jan 10 |  African
Togo's Nations Cup exit confirmed
11 Jan 10 |  African
Togo footballers tell of attack
08 Jan 10 |  Africa
Togo footballers shot in ambush
08 Jan 10 |  Africa

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