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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

DRC: Players, club officials frustrated by extended stoppage of Linafoot

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Linafoot, also known as the Ligue 1 Vodacom, has not seen a match played since the beginning of March with the stated primary reason being a lack of arrangements for travel because of an issue with the country’s national air service Congo Airways. However, with the travel issue being resolved recently there appears to be a breakdown in communication between the Congolese government and the footballing authorities in the country, the Congolese Association Football Federation (FECOFA) and Linafoot.

For the time being the disruption in the national championship has animated discussions among both players and club officials. Club official Guy Mafuta pointed the finger at the government for not keeping Linafoot and FECOFA informed on the process while TP Mazembe Secretary General Frédéric Kintengie indicated that it is a difficult task for the groups involved in attempting to revise the statutes that govern Congolese football. With lack of funds a constant issue according to Kintengie, “investors cannot take risks with chaotic football”.

When it comes to the players, it is difficult to be without competitive matches and in an interview with Foot RDC, CS Don Bosco player Jonathan Manzanza remarked that the only thing players like him can do is keep on training for when the issues are resolved. With African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying arriving soon as well as 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifying, the resumption of domestic football becomes an even more important issue with the Congolese domestic-based national side a regular contender in the competition.