After gunmen killed their driver, a press officer and an assistant coach, and with several players injured, the Togo football team are going home and not playing in the African Cup of Nations which is kicking off as I write this. I hope that all those affected by this horrific episode recover quickly and that Togo can pick themselves up and carry on.
I say that the correct decision has been made in Togo withdrawing and going home. None of the players and team officials would have been in a fit state to play highly competitive football on a continental stage, and it is in the best interests of the whole party that they are brought back.
Athletics news now, and the fastest man ever, Usain Bolt has said that he will not be taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October. This is because his focus for this year is on the brand new ‘IAAF Diamond League’, which takes place over 14 events all over the world. Two of these events take place in Gateshead and London. Bolt then says he will start to train and prepare for the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Britain’s Heptathlon World Champion Jessica Ennis will also miss the games, as may Paula Radcliffe giving the same reason. The security threat is also why many more athletes may give the games a miss, which at the moment are looking like becoming a farce with venues struggling to meet deadlines and high-profile withdrawals. I hope I’m proved wrong, but I’m not convinced on this one.
I knew a lot of people were worried that Athens wouldn’t be ready for the Olympic Games in 2004, but I stuck by them. It was Greece and the Olympics. It would be alright.
In American Football, the Wild Card play offs are taking place also as I write this. The New York Jets have beaten the Cincinnati Bengals 24-14. The Dallas Cowboys have also beaten the Philadelphia Eagles 34-14. At half-time, the Baltimore Ravens lead the New England Patriots 24-7. The game between the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers hasn’t started yet.
That’s all folks.