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Kodjovi Dodji Akanava Obilalé (born 8 October 1984) is a Togolese former footballer who played as a goalkeeper. His last club was the French amateur club GSI Pontivy.[4] His career was cut short after he was severely injured in a bus attack against the Togolese team that took place in the Cabinda Province, Angola, just days before the start of the 2010 African Cup of Nations.

Kodjovi Obilalé
Personal information
Full name Kodjovi Dodji Akanava Obilalé[1]
Date of birth (1984-10-08) 8 October 1984 (age 34)
Place of birth Lomé, Togo
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 12 in)[2]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
2001–2003 Chamois Niortais
2002–2003 Lorient
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2006 Étoile Filante de Lomé ? (?)
2006–2008 CS Quéven ? (?)
2008–2010 GSI Pontivy 12 (0[3])
National team
2006–2010 Togo 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Club careerEdit

Born in Lomé,[5] Obilalé began his career with Chamois Niortais,[6] before signing a contract with FC Lorient in 2003.[7] After one year in Lorient. he returned to Togo and signed a contract with Étoile Filante de Lomé,[8] where he played for three years.[9] In July 2006, he returned to France and moved to CS Quéven,[10] where he played 39 games in one and a half year, before leaving the club in the summer of 2008 to sign a contract with GSI Pontivy.[11]

International careerEdit

Obilalé is a former member of the national team,[12] and was called up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was the only member of the World Cup squad to play for a club in Togo. He was capped five times by Togo in 2009.[13]

2010 African Cup of Nations shootingEdit

On 8 January, a bus carrying the Togo national football team to the African Cup of Nations was fired at by a group of rebel terrorists from Cabinda Province, Angola, just after they had crossed the Congo border.[14] Obilalé was one of the two players who were reported to have bullet wounds. Defender Serge Akakpo, was the other player confirmed to have been shot. The driver of the bus was killed during the attack, and the assistant coach and a spokesperson later died from their wounds.[15] Later, Obilalé was reported dead by some sources including;[16] such reports were later dismissed by his club GSI Pontivy in a press announcement, stating the player was undergoing surgery in South Africa instead.[17][18] Later reports indicated that Obilalé's condition had improved following the shootout, and that he was "recovering well."[19]

In March 2010, Obilalé returned to France to continue his rehabilitation at the Kerpape centre in Lorient; later in July, he confirmed that, as a result of the shooting, he was still suffering serious walking problems, and that he did not think about playing football anymore.[20] Obilalé's rehabilitation was funded by FIFA, the Togo government and the French Football Federation, and the goalkeeper complained that "the only institution that did not help me, it is the Confederation of African Football".[21]

On 30 July 2010, his contract with French football club Pontivy expired, and he stated that he had serious financial issues. He also announced his intention of denouncing the Togo Football Federation, on the grounds that it had neglected his situation. These concerns were also raised by a number of other former fellow players, including international teammate Emmanuel Adebayor, who, according to Obilalé, regularly calls him and helps him financially on his own.[20]

On 26 July 2010, Obilalé was given the honour of taking the kick-off during a friendly game between FC Lorient and Stade Rennais F.C., which was organized to raise funds for the rehabilitation facility where he had recovered. The game was attended by more than 3,000 people.[22]

Obilalé has since earned a diploma in special education, and works in the field of youth rehabilitation for Lorient association Remise en Jeu. In 2015, he published an autobiography, Un destin foudroyé ("A Destiny Struck").[21]

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Kodjovi Obilale Un Epervier Porteur D'Espoir Et D'Avenir". 19 February 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Kodjovi Dodji Obilale at". Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Avec la disparition désastreuse de DTFOOT , les amoureux des stats" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Playerhistory Profile". Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Kodjovi Obilalé Dodji. Un Epervier en Bretagne". 26 November 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  7. ^ Schuiringa, Jurriën. "UPDATE: Reserve-doelman Obilalé nog in leven". Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Football: de la fiche de Kodjovi Obilalé". Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Transfert : Obilalé à Pontivy !". Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  10. ^ "Football : Kodjovi Obilalé, l'oiseau rare de Pontivy" (in French). 21 October 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  11. ^ "Effectif Football Pontivy GSI". Archived from the original on 15 July 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  12. ^ "Coupe d'Afrique des nations. Kodjovi Obilalé, l'oiseau rare de Pontivy" (in French). Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  13. ^ "Obilalé, Kodjovi Dodji". Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  14. ^ Reeves, Nick (8 January 2010). "Gunmen wound four in attack on African football stars". Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  15. ^ "Togo withdraw from Africa Cup of Nations". BBC News. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  16. ^ "Goalkeeper, Assistant Coach And Press Officer Reported Dead After Togo Bus Shooting". 9 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  17. ^ "Kodjovi Obilalé n'est pas décédé des suites de ses blessures (Agence AFP)". Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  18. ^ Togolese Goalkeeper In S.Africa For Treatment
  19. ^ "Togo 'keeper Obilale "recovering well" in hospital". 20 January 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  20. ^ a b "Togo : Obilalé, le rêve brisé" (in French). Afrik Foot. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
  21. ^ a b Togo – Kodjovi Obilalé : « Je n’en veux plus à mes agresseurs » ‹See Tfd›(in French)
  22. ^ "Plus de 3 000 spectateurs pour Lorient-Rennes" (in French). Ouest-France. 26 July 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2010.