Togo's Kossi Agassa may not play vs. Congo after house vandalised
PORT-GENTIL, Gabon -- Togo coach Claude le Roy is not sure if veteran goalkeeper Kossi Agassa will play in a crucial game at the African Nations Cup after his house in Lome was vandalised by supporters who blamed him for a loss.
Agassa was "emotionally affected" by the news and will be allowed to skip Togo's final group match against Congo in Gabon on Tuesday if he wishes, Le Roy said. Togo's hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals rest on the game.
Agassa's home in the Togolese capital was placed under police protection after it was attacked on Friday, shortly after Togo lost 3-1 to Morocco at the ANC. Authorities said they would also watch over the property on Tuesday night, when Togo are to play Congo.
"He was really affected when he heard the news and received calls from Togo after the sad incident," Le Roy said on Monday. "We are all supporting him because, after all, football is a game. Whether he wants to play or not [against Congo], I will respect his decision."
The 38-year-old goalkeeper, who has played for Togo for 19 years, had a tough time in the loss to Morocco, conceding two goals from set pieces and then allowing a long-range shot to skip past him for the third.
But he also helped Togo hold defending champions Ivory Coast to a 0-0 draw in their opening match.
"Agassa does not deserve such treatment," Le Roy said.
Togo have history when it comes to fans taking out their frustrations on players' houses. In 1998, Togo striker Salou Bachirou's house was damaged by people angry at what they considered his poor performances at the African Nations Cup in Burkina Faso.
Togo can only qualify for the quarterfinals of the African Nations Cup in Gabon if they beat Congo, the Group B leaders, in Port-Gentil on Tuesday night.