A group of footballers last week traveled to the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain, where they pretended to be the national soccer team of Togo, a small West African country, and played in an official exhibition match against the national team of Bahrain. Adding insult to injury, the fake Togo squad lost 3-0, besmirching the record of a team they are not members of and the reputation of a country they may or may not even be from.
The Associated Press reports, "[Chairman of Togo's interim soccer federation] Seiyi Memene said the federation did not know the players who claimed to represent Togo in the match at Bahrain's National Stadium in Riffa last Tuesday."
"We cannot send our players to play friendly matches abroad without the approval of FIFA," Memene told the AP. "The players that took part in the friendly match against Bahrain were completely fake. We have not sent any team of footballers to Bahrain. The players are not known to us."
Nabine Gnonh, chief of staff at Togo's sports ministry, said both the ministry and the federation now have opened an investigation.
... Doubts emerged over the authenticity of the Togo team in Bahrain after a federation official told local media that the game had been "sold" to the BFA by a "fake agent."
Possibly the biggest blow to Togo is the fact that no one even bothered to check the veracity of the fake Togo team, even though they presumably lacked official Togolese uniforms and by all appearances were not very good at soocer.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.