View Full Version : Togo
06-10-2006, 06:37 AM
This story will be an interesting side story.
Mawuena takes over Togo
MUNICH, June 10 (Reuters) - Kodjovi Mawuena has taken over as coach of the Togolese national team after Otto Pfister walked out overnight in a World Cup pay dispute between officials and the squad.
'Mr Mawuena is the new coach and he is already conducting the training with the team this morning,' Togo spokesman Messan Attolou told Reuters.
Attolou said he would be in charge for the first World Cup match against South Korea on June 13 'and then we'll see what happens'.
Togolese Mawuena had been assistant coach to Pfister, alongside Piet Hamberg, who also quit, Attolou said.
06-10-2006, 06:38 AM
Togo coach Pfister walks out over pay row
MUNICH, June 10 (Reuters & PA) - Togo coach Otto Pfister has resigned with immediate effect and says he does not plan to return to the negotiating table with officials after a pay dispute with the squad.
'I have resigned without notice. The players boycotted (three closed) training sessions and with that my basis to work has been removed,' Pfister told Reuters on Saturday in a telephone interview after quitting overnight.
'It has destroyed a dream of my life.'
`I'm giving up my work as national trainer,' he added in German newspaper Tagesspiegel. `I will not be at the World Cup. I'm not going to let myself be messed around any longer.'
Asked whether he was open for further negotiations with officials, Pfister said no and added that he did not blame the players but the Togolese football association.
A FIFA spokesman for Togo revealed: 'Mr Otto Pfister had a meeting with Mr FA president Rock Gnassingbe last night and left at around 0200 (local time) and said he was finished with the Togo team.'
The 68-year-old German stormed out of the team's hotel in Wangen yesterday night because of the ongoing dispute with the country's football federation over player bonuses.
The players have asked for £80,000 each to play in the tournament, plus an additional £20,000 each per victory. Officials from the small West African country said it was too much money.
Team doctor Joachim Schubert crushed concerns Pfister could have left over coaching questions. Pfister had guided Saudi Arabia through the France 98 World Cup qualifiers but was dismissed before the finals as he said he would not allow Saudi princes meddle in his team decisions.
'It was solely about organisational problems, in no way about sports. I believe Pfister just did not think he could reach his goal of having the team concentrate fully on the tournament any more.'
Schubert said he doubted the team would boycott the World Cup but added that no replacement for Pfister and his assistant coach Piet Hamberg had yet been found.
'It really went well between Togo and Pfister so it is a real shame he has left but he must have come to a point where he could not go on,' Schubert told Reuters.
Rank outsiders Togo, who are based in the city of Wangen, play their first Group G match against South Korea in Frankfurt on Tuesday.
Their other opening-round opponents are Switzerland on June 19 and France four days later.
Togo's Prime Minister Edem Kodjo had been called on to help resolve the pay dispute and had flown to Germany on Friday.
Pfister has spent much of his life globetrotting, coaching eight different countries before Togo.
Pfister, who has also coached Zaire and Ghana, replaced Stephen Keshi on a short-term contract after Togo's poor performance at the African Nations Cup in Egypt at the start of the year.
The team failed to score a goal in those finals.
Pfister is originally from Cologne and had been due to return to his home town for the match against former world champions France.
He spent most of his playing and early coaching career in Switzerland and has maintained a Zurich residence since 1959.
06-10-2006, 12:01 PM
For results: see Cameroon 1994.
This team was already in dissaray in January!
06-12-2006, 01:22 PM
Debutants Togo have provided the most bizarre saga so far in the month-long tournament, which began on Friday.
Pfister, a 68-year-old German, quit as coach saying he could not work because the players and the Togolese football authorities were embroiled in a dispute over pay.
Togolese officials then put assistant coach Kodjovi Mawuena in charge for the first game against South Korea on Tuesday. They also began talks with German coach Winfried Schaefer.
But Pfister suddenly announced he had responded to an appeal from his players to return and would be in charge on Tuesday.
"The players intervened massively. I received a fax from the (Togolese football association) president and I will sit on the bench as coach of the team tomorrow," he told Reuters.
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