Where’s Ade?

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This is my favourite international story of recent weeks; the allegation that Togo were represented by a fake national football team.

On September 7th, Togo faced Bahrain in an international friendly. The match resulted in a 3-0 win for the underdog Bahrain team.

Head coach Josef Hickersberger was surprised by his sides victory, and was quoted saying: “They [Togo] were not fit enough to play 90 minutes – the match was very boring”

This gave rise to suspicions regarding the legitimacy of players selected.

When contacted, Togo’s sports minister Christophe Tchao denied having ever sent a national team to play in the game.

However, one former Togo official has said his signature was forged on one of the key documents used in setting up the match.
This has led to Tchao suggesting that the team was made up of “unidintified players and shadowy handlers… from a mafia group”.

Questions remain about exactly who the 18 players representing Togo really were, and the extent of any mafia involvement. But his is undeniably one of the most outrageous schemes ever suggested in order to match-fix.

Whilst Adebayor has retired from his national side, I expect Bahrain are still wondering where his real team-mates were.

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