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Togo banned for leaving Africa Cup of Nations after attack

Togolese gendarmes carry the coffin of one of the shooting victims.
Togolese gendarmes carry the coffin of one of the shooting victims.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Togo suspended from next two Africa Cup of Nations competitions by CAF
  • Team pulled out of tournament this month after terrorist attack on their bus killed three
  • African governing body CAF decided decision to recall team was political interference

(CNN) -- Togo, who pulled out of the Africa Cup of Nations soccer competition after a terrorist attack on their team bus, have been suspended from taking part in the next two competitions.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) also announced on Saturday that the team would be fined $50,000.

Why Togo ban rubs salt into open wounds

Three people were killed in the attack, which took place while Togo travelled to the team hotel two days before their opening match earlier this month.

Video: Two arrested in Togo attack
Video: Soccer players ambushed
Video: Togo soccer team attacked
Map: Team attacked in Angola
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Communications chief Stanislas Ocloo and assistant coach Abalo Amnalete were shot dead and goalkeeper, Kodjovi Obilale, was among the injured.

Togo, captained by Manchester City star Emmanuel Adebayor, wanted to continue despite the attack but quit on their national government's orders.

The attack raised fears about security for the World Cup, which takes place in South Africa later this year.

CAF has decided the decision to recall the team was political interference, leading to Saturday's suspension for the tournaments in 2012 and 2014.

CAF said in a statement: "The executive committee and its president renewed their sincere condolences to the families of victims involved in this tragic terrorist attack which happened January 8, 2010.

"The attack was condemned by CAF and also a total support was given to the Togolese team.

"At that time, CAF said they have understood perfectly the decision of players not to participate in the competition.

"Meanwhile, following a decision taken by players to participate in the competition, the Togolese government decided to call back their national team.

"The decision taken by the political authorities is infringing CAF and CAN (African Nations Cup) regulations.

"Therefore, a decision has been taken to suspend the Togo national team for the next two editions of Africa Cup of Nations, with a fine of U.S. dollars 50,000 handed to the Togolese national football association, in conformity with article 78 of Africa Cup of Nations Angola 2010."

Two men arrested over the attack were said to be members of the Forces for Liberation of the State of Cabinda, an armed wing of a separatist group that has claimed responsibility for the attack and has threatened to strike again.

Cabinda is a disputed oil-rich enclave in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was the site of eight matches in the African Cup of Nations tournament.

The Africa Cup of Nations tournament is one of the biggest sporting events in the world this year, and Angola's first since a 2002 peace deal ended decades of civil war in the southern African country.