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  • Writer's pictureStuart

Our Togalese friend in high places

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Yesterday I posted this picture of me, Keir and some Brazilian fans whom we'd met in our hotel bar in Cologne.

We had a lovely time, we watched my friends the South Koreans shock France, and we generally had a really good night off from working. There were other people in the bar that night, in fact there were other people in that photograph, but I cut them out because the post was about the Brazilians we'd met that night. No offence was meant, indeed the man I cut out from the right of the picture, Joseph, was lovely and I even bought him a beer.

Here is the picture in full with Joseph on the right. Joseph is a Togo fan, and I took his picture separately to put elsewhere on Lee's site as we were a bit short of Togalese fans (not surprisingly we later ammeded the story)! What I didn't find out about Joseph until the next night, after we'd had a beery session the night before, was that his full name is Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, and he is the former Prime Minister of Togo!


It came up in conversation this afternoon - in a "I'm assuming you had no idea who that was?" kind of way. We had a laugh about it, then dismissed it, but when we returned from a days filming today, we bumped into Joseph getting out of his cab having returned from the game today (Toga lost to Switzerland 2:0 and are out of the World Cup). We walked into the reception with him and he said "hi boys, I'm going to watch the Ukraine v Saudi game can I buy you a beer".

So, we spent a quite surreal evening drinking beer again with the former Togalese Prime Minister, who off the record was happy to discuss his thoughts with us about the Togalese team threatning to strike, his country's passion for football and what their first enty into the World Cup finals meant to his country. I can't share these thoughts, though, as he fears that saying anything on the record about it could cause trouble back home, and you know what - I believe him!


This trip just gets more incredible every day!


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