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LOME, Togo (AP) -Togo's sports minister says the fake national team that played Bahrain last week was made up of "unidentified players and their shadowy handlers'' who belonged to a "mafia group.''

Christophe Tchao tells The Associated Press the team, which lost 3-0 at Bahrain's National Stadium in Riffa on Sept. 7, did not have the necessary authorization from his ministry to represent the country in an international friendly.

Tchao says a mafia group "aided and abetted them to leave Togo without authorization.''

A former Togo football official says his signature was forged in the Aug. 17 letter to the Bahrain Football Association that set up the match.

Kodzo Samlan says he left the federation in May, "so I could not have written that letter.''
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