Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
WC 2006: Oh No, Where's Togo?
2006-06-18 05:14
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Togo, the country whose coach quit and then came back (and then maybe quit again, no one's sure), is scheduled to play Switzerland for their second Group G game in Dortmund on Monday. That's what my TiVo says, anyway. Only problem is, the team seemingly has decided to give the Swiss a miss. They were scheduled to leave their hotel in Wangen for one closer to the venue earlier today but they, um, haven't. Togo football officials insist that the pay dispute that caused coach Otto Pfister's walkout last week has been solved. The players, the ones who allegedly aren't getting paid, obviously have a difference of opinion.

My research thus far hasn't been able to uncover a previous instance of a scheduled World Cup final game not taking place, although the history of boycotts during qualifiers is lengthy and illustrious.

Update: FIFA has at least convinced the Togolese to get on the bus for Dortmund. "No team that has qualified for a World Cup finals has withdrawn from a match in the 76-year history of the event. Any nation doing so face a heavy fine and could be banned from subsequent competitions."

2006-06-18 06:52:44
1.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Seeing Brent Musburger on TV reassuring us that "the Sparrow Hawks are their way" was either the highlight or the lowlight of the World Cup for me so far. I'm not sure which.
2006-06-18 09:07:35
2.   Bob Timmermann
I think Togo is trying to figure out how to add Russ Ortiz to the roster.
2006-06-18 15:00:23
3.   Greg Brock
Togo certainly is garnering a little more than their fair share of coverage this cup, and I think it's brilliant. If you don't have a competitive team, at least be the craziest. I like it.

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