Togo coach quits days before opener

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Togo coach quits over issue of players' compensation

June 10, 2006

CBS wire reports

WANGEN, Germany -- Togo's soccer coach quit Saturday, throwing the West African team into turmoil days before its World Cup debut.

The cause of Otto Pfister's decision was a dispute over pay between the players and the national federation, which got so heated that Togo's prime minister flew in late Friday to see if he could help broker a compromise.

"When I started to be manager of Togo, I was promised that bonuses for the players would be cleared," he told on Saturday. "That is still not the case, so I decided to quit immediately. It's a professional decision.

"However, in not managing a team at the World Cup, my life's dream has been destroyed. But this is a situation I simply cannot work with."

Togo plays South Korea on Tuesday in its opening game.

Pfister left the team's hotel in the middle of the night with assistant trainer Piet Hamburg, Togo federation spokesman Messan Attolou said.

"He just said goodbye," said Attolou, adding that Pfister left his bags at the hotel.

"Our coach resigned. He was in tears when he told us," said midfielder Yao Kaka Aziawonou. "But life goes on. We have to try to boost our morale and motivation again. We have to carry on training."

The team chose assistant coach Mawuena Kodjovi as the new coach, but made it clear Pfister would be welcomed back if he changed his mind.

"We will see if he comes back tomorrow," Attolou said. "Perhaps once the problem with the bonuses is settled ..."

Kodjovi led Togo's morning training session Saturday.

The players, most of whom are with smaller European clubs, have been holding out for $200,000 each to play in the tournament, plus $39,000 each per win and $20,000 per draw.

Pfister has maintained that it was up to the federation, and not him, to settle the dispute.

Rest of the story on CBS SportsLine

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I am certain that's the case. Afterall, his dream as a coach was to coach in a world cup, yet he quits two days before they play. I hope the players don't lose their morale and come out and play their best football.

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noooooooooooooooooooo :angry: oh well things happen but at least keep the bluddy job until the World Cup is finished. That might of be a proffesional decision for him to take it but what about his team... :blink:

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The saga surrounding Togo's World Cup preparations has taken another twist with the news that Otto Pfister, who quit last week, will return as coach.

Pfister, 68, resigned on Friday following a pay dispute between players and the Togo football federation.

However, he will now take charge of the team against South Korea on Tuesday.

"The players intervened massively. I received a fax from the (Togolese FA) president and I will sit on the bench as coach of the team," he said.

Players have pressed their demands for 155,000 euros (?105,900) each to play in the World Cup plus 30,000 euros (?20,500) each per win and 15,000 euros (?10,000) per draw.

Officials from a country with average per-capita income well below ?500 have said the demands are too high and negotiations are still underway.

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