March 1, 2010 / 1:41 PM / 10 years ago

Shot Togolese goalkeeper to return to France

Togo's reserve soccer goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale arrives on a stretcher at Lanseria airport after being evacuated to Johannesburg for medical treatment, January 9, 2010. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Togo goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale will return to France after being treated in a South African hospital for gunshot wounds he received when the team’s bus was ambushed in Angola in January, a medical official said on Monday.

Obilale underwent surgery in Johannesburg after being evacuated from Angola following the attack on the bus carrying the national team to the African Nations Cup.

“The bills have been paid and there are already plans afoot to repatriate the player back to France, where he will continue to receive health care,” said Fraser Lamond, medical director of health assistance company International SOS.

The date of Obilale’s return had yet to be finalised, he added.

Two members of Togo’s soccer delegation and the bus driver were killed when gunmen opened fire. Seven people were injured in the attack, which was claimed by the FLEC, a rebel group fighting for secession in the Angolan province of Cabinda.

Obilale, Togo’s reserve goalkeeper who plays for French fourth division side Pontivy, was shot in the back and abdomen.

The Togolese government recalled the team for three days of mourning after the attack, and the country was later banned from the next two African Nations Cups for withdrawing their team.

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