Togo to debut six players at World Cup

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:40 IST

Togo is entering its first World Cup with six players who have never before played for the national team.

Togo:

Togo is entering its first World Cup with six players who have never before played for the national team. The move is an attempt to rejuvenate the squad after a disappointing showing at the African Cup of Nations. The 23 players announced include 18-year-old Toure Assimiou, who plays for Bayern Leverkusen and had been a central defender for the German under-20 junior team. Rock Gnassingbe, president of Togo's soccer association, said he hopes "with the new blend the Togo national team will find the cohesion which was lacking" at the African Cup. Togo lost to Cameroon, Congo and Angola in the first round of that tournament earlier this year. Coach Otto Pfister, who was hired in March, went on a last-minute recruiting trip to Europe to strengthen his roster. Debutantes He also added Karim Guede, a reserve player for Hamburg, Richmond Forson of J A Poire and Komi Agbo of Beveren. Nearly all the new players are defenders and are expected to help bolster the Sparrow Hawks porous backfield. Pfister also brought on one attacker, Robert Malm of Brest. The team includes only one local player, reserve goalkeeper Obilade Kodjovi formerly of Etoile Filante. Old players retained include goalkeeper Kossi Agassa, Emmanuel Adebayor, Sheriff Toure and Thomas Dossevi. The Sparrow Hawks will play France, Switzerland and South Korea in Group G in the first round. (AP)

Topics : Football
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