Togo's national soccer team, which was ambushed by gunmen on its way to the African Nations Cup in Angola on Friday, was told not to travel by bus to the separatist area of Cabinda, a soccer official said on Saturday.
Virgilio Santos, an official with African Nations Cup local organising committee COCAN, was cited by weekly sports newspaper A Bola as saying no team should have travelled by bus through Angola.
"We asked that all delegations inform us when they would arrive and provide the passport number of their players. Togo was the only team not to respond and did not inform COCAN it was coming by bus," Santos told the newspaper.
"The rules are clear: no team should travel by bus. I don't know what led them to do this."
The Togo team bus, travelling from its training ground in the Republic of Congo, had just entered the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, where separatists have waged a three-decade long war against the government, when it came under sustained heavy gunfire. The bus driver was killed and nine people were injured, including two players.
A crisis meeting is expected to take place in the Angolan capital Luanda between local officials and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over security measures for the tournament.
CAF has said the Jan.10 to 31 tournament would go ahead despite the attack and the Angolan government said late on Friday all teams would still take part in the tournament.
However, Togo Captain Emmanuel Adebayor, who escaped uninjured from Friday's attack, said his team might withdraw from the African Nations Cup.
"A lot of players want to leave. They have seen death and want to go back to their families," who joined Manchester City for a reported 25 million pounds ($40 million) told the BBC World Service.
There has been no official suggestion matches will be pulled from Cabinda, an oil producing region wedged between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo, which is one of four provinces chosen to host matches in Angola.
Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2010, 17:39
The area has been the target of attacks by separatist rebels even after Angola's 27-year civil war ended in 2002. Cabinda is responsible for half of Angola's daily oil production, which rivals Nigeria as Africa's biggest oil producer.
The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), who has fought for independence of the oil-producing province, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The FLEC was not thought to be a serious security risk. In December, Angolan minister without portfolio Antonio Bento Bembe, a former senior FLEC fighter, said the group no longer existed.
He said all that remained of FLEC was a few individuals who were trying to attract unhappy Cabindans with false statements.