A coach who wasn’t thinking…?
What was former Togolese Coach, Tchanile Bana thinking?
He stunned the sporting world by putting together a fake team of youngsters to represent the Republic of Togo, for an international match against Bahrain.
It was a really clean sweep that went undetected until the so-called international friendly match ended, with the Kingdom of Bahrain beating the fake Togolese team by 3-0.
Bahrain sure wanted to win, but they also knew that even on a good day, they could not beat Togo by that wide margin, and so easily – because Togo has some very good players who exhibit the tough football tradition of West Africa.
That was when curious questions were asked on the international stage as to how it happened. Meanwhile, the Togolese Football Association (FA) released a statement saying they had not sent out any team to play against Bahrain.
The world's football governing body, FIFA, shivered and immediately announced a thorough investigation.
How the former Togolese Coach could do what he did was more than baffling. To pull off the whole trick, Coach Bana must posses skills that fiction writers will envy.
After his actions were uncovered, he offered this explanation:
“I wanted to help youngsters in Togo who chose to play football, but who have problems making it because of a lack of competition at a national level.”
So, “to help youngsters in Togo,” Mr Bana pulled a fast one on the whole international community and FIFA. Not even the Togolese youngsters will be impressed with his convulsive attempt to “help.”
And FIFA, especially, is not impressed. So after investigating the scam, it banned Coach Bana from all football activities for three years.
To his credit though, Coach Bana has accepted responsibility – not that he could have found any reasonable ways of dodging it.
“I present my sincere apologies to the president of the republic, all the Togolese people and president of the Bahrain FA.”
He continues by saying “I am aware of the mistakes I've made. I've received a three year ban. I am obliged to accept it in a gesture of sportsmanship.”
As to what Coach Bana was thinking presenting a fake team to represent a whole country in another sovereign country, it would seem he wasn't thinking at all.