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Former Togo boss ´sorry´ over fraudulent friendly

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Sep 2010

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Former Togo coach Bana Tchanile has apologised for taking a team of imposters masquerading as Togo internationals to play in a friendly against Bahrain, an act that saw him hit with a three-year ban.

Former national coach Tchanile was the man behind one of the most embarrassing episodes in the west African country’s sporting history when he pitched up in the Bahraini capital of Manama for the September 7 match.

Bahrain won the game, a warm-up for the West Asian Football Federation Championship, 3-0, only for it to later emerge that they had beaten a bunch of fraudsters.

An inquiry was launched last Thursday into the affair by the Togolese football authorities who promptly banned Tchanile from all activities relating to football for a period of three years.

“I’m aware of the mistakes I’ve made,” Tchanile said Tuesday. “I present my sincere apologies to the president of the republic, all the Togolese people and the president of the Bahrain Football Association.

“I’ve received a three-year ban. I’m obliged to accept it in a gesture of sportsmanship.”

Tchanile added that his motives were driven by the frustration of a group of young players who were finding it impossible to break into any of the national set-ups.

“I wanted to help youngsters in Togo who chose to play football, but who have problems making it because of a lack of competition at a national level,” he said.

“I don’t want to stir up a big fuss, I want the buck to stop at me,” he added after acknowledging that members of Togo’s caretaker committee had been involved in the scam.

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