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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun, 19, 2006

Beaten Togo will finally be paid

DORTMUND, June 19 (Reuters) - A relieved but disappointed Togo squad will finally receive pay cheques from the national football association on the day their World Cup ended after two defeats.

'They have promised to pay us tonight - with cheques,' Eric Akoto told reporters after his team's 2-0 loss to Switzerland in Dortmund in Group G on Monday.

'This is good for the players. We are satisfied,' he added.

Togo's pay dispute began before the tournament started and looked at one point as if it would disrupt Monday's match, with players refusing to leave their base until an agreement was reached after FIFA's intervention .

Late on Sunday players agreed to lower their initial demands of 155,000 euros ($196,300) each to play and 30,000 euros for each win.

No team that has qualified for a World Cup finals has ever withdrawn from a match in the 76-year history of the event.

Players gave mixed reactions as to how the dispute had affected their game.

'It was not ideal and of course it had an affect on the team. Football is also a mental game and this tired us and drained our spirits,' said forward Mohamed Kader Coubadja.

But he hoped the strong performances given by his team would overshadow the problems off the pitch.

Midfielder Thomas Dossevi said the pay dispute had had no influence over Togo's showing against Switzerland.

However, Togo's German coach Otto Pfister told a news conference on Monday that such rows did affect the nerves.

'It was not just turbulent working here, it has also been extremely difficult. Also for the players,' he said.

Pfister walked out on the team just before the tournament, saying the pay row made it impossible for him to do his job. He returned just in time for their first match, a 2-1 defeat to South Korea.

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