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Sports News
Neveu''''s appointment derailed 1/17/2007

Neveu will not be coaching Togo after all
The crisis gripping Togolese football took another dramatic twist on Monday when Patrice Neveu''''s appointment as national coach was blocked by the government.

The government move came just hours before the Frenchman was due to sign his contract at the sports ministry''''s offices in Lome.

Sports Minister Richard Attipoe said the government had decided not to go ahead with the deal due to "new developments" but refused to give any details.

Neveu was appointed by Rock Gnassingbe, the son of the former Togolese president, who was voted out of office earlier this month.

He was replaced by Tata Avlessi and the new head of Togolese football appears reluctant to endorse an appointment instigated by the previous regime.

The 51-year-old Neveu was expected to lead Togo''''s 2008 African Nations Cup qualifying campaign but has been left reeling by the sudden turn of events.

"I came to Lome to sign the contract but if the Togolese authorities have decided otherwise, I have no choice but to withdraw my name," he said.

Speaking on national television, Avlessi said he did not think it was "appropriate" to appoint a new coach now.

He said: "We had only gone to pay a courtesy call on the sports minister when, by chance, we walked into a ceremony for Neveu to sign his contract.

"We then told the minister that we were not in his office to witness the signing of a contract.

"We''''ve just been elected into office and we think we should go one step at a time, and hold consultations over such matters."

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