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DR Congo stars leave camp in protest

Democratic Republic of the Congo's players celebrate a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between Togo and DR Congo in Port-Gentil on January 24, 2017. / AFP / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Four players have walked out on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national team protesting poor organisation around a friendly international in a second such case in recent days.

West Ham United’s Arthur Masuaku, Paul-Jose Mpoku of Belgian club Standard Liege, Jordan Ikoko from En Avant Guingamp and Gael Kakuta of Ligue 1 outfit Amiens left the camp on Monday because of repeated logistical and organisational problem as the team travelled to Dar-es-Salaam for a friendly against Tanzania on Tuesday.

“They all lamented the organisational aspects of the camp and are frustrated,” the team’s media officer Jerry Angengwa said on Tuesday.

The quartet headed back to the clubs while teammates, similarly angered by long flight delays, no training facilities and poor quality accommodation, agreed to stay and play the match only if the Congolese federation (Fecofa) promised to improve arrangements for their next internationals.

Poor organization has long been an issue with the African national teams, bedevilled by a lack of resources with players rarely protest.

There have previous strike actions but almost all around the non-payment of promised money.

Last week star striker Thievy Bifouma walked out on the Congo-Brazzaville team who have been holding a camp in France, complaining of tardy arrangements and poor treatment of the players.

He later returned and scored on Sunday in a friendly international against Guinea Bissau in Mantes that had twice been re-arranged from last week.

“At our clubs, everything is professional but not with the national team, who only have a few games a year and have time, quite simply, to organise well. Football is made of details,” he told France Football on Tuesday.

He blamed federation officials for slack organisation and said he and his teammates would seek to keep pressure up for future matches.

“We will remain vigilant. We will now check a month before our next international to find out what the conditions are. I think a message has been conveyed to the country. And that the conditions will be much better in the future,” Bifouma added.

– Reuters



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