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Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Monday, 20 September 2010 17:22 UK

Togo ban assistant coach over 'fake' match

By Ebow Godwin
BBC Sport, Lome

Bahrain captain Mohammed Hussein (red shirt) lines up ahead of the match
The officials line up ahead of the bogus friendly in Bahrain

Togo's assistant coach has been suspended for three years after taking a group of impostors masquerading as the national side to play a match in Bahrain.

The country's football federation (FTF) has found former national coach Tchanile Bana guilty of being the brains behind the 'fake' friendly.

Bahrain were left fuming after their preparations for the forthcoming West Asian Football Championships, which begin on Friday, were dashed by the poor quality of their opponents.

The Bahrainis won the match in Riffa 3-0 on 7 September but complained afterwards about the quality of the opposition.

"They were not fit enough to play 90 minutes - the match was very boring," lamented Bahrain coach Josef Hickersberger.

Last week, the West Africans' federation said it had no knowledge of the friendly that took place 48 hours after the real Hawks had lost a Nations Cup qualifier in Botswana.

We must not be content to ban Tchanile Bana alone

FTF member Antoine Folly

"The organisation, the preparation and supervision of the match were planned by Tchanile Bana," the FTF said in a statement on Monday.

Bana had already been suspended for two years for organising a match in Egypt in July without the knowledge of Togo's sports authorities.

Nonetheless, the man who took charge of Togo on two separate occasions, in both 2000 and 2004, was still assisting the Hawks' technical team.

A member of the FTF commission tasked with investigating the embarrassing incident has warned that Bana will not suffer his punishment alone.

"Full light must be thrown on the Bahrain affair in order to unmask and impose sanctions on his accomplices operating within the FTF," Antoine Folly said.

2010 has been a year to forget for Togo's national team.

While competing in the African Nations Cup in Angola in January, the team's bus was attacked by gunmen resulting in the fatalities of two members of the Togolese delegation.

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see also
'Fake' Togo match investigated
15 Sep 10 |  Middle East
Botswana beat Togo to remain top
05 Sep 10 |  African

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