CHAN 2020: Leopards affected by Covid, relieved by victory

Coach Florent Ibenge and the Leopards won the Congolese derby under special conditions.

© Pierre René-Worns / RFI

Text by: Ndiasse Sambe Follow

3 min

Double winner of CHAN, the DRC, one of the title contenders suffered to beat Congo-Brazzaville (1-0).

The six cases of Covid declared within the Leopards, a few hours before the match, are certainly not foreign to their performance.


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The news fell on the morning of Sunday, January 17, a few hours before their derby against

Congo-Brazzaville (1-0)


Five Congolese players from the DRC and the physical trainer saw their Covid tests, carried out on Friday, prove positive 48 hours later.

Five players, including three potential holders such as striker Beni Kinzumbi or right-back Issama Djos of Tout Puissant Mazembe.

What to disrupt a group a few hours before entering the tournament, which is more facing its best enemy and neighbor.

It's very complicated,

" admitted the Leopards A 'coach at the end of the meeting.

You learn in the morning that you have five players who cannot play the game.

You can only trust your workforce.

There are 33 players, there are five less for a few days, you have to play with the others.

This disease proves that you have to trust a whole group rather than 12 or 13 players


For goalkeeper and captain Ley Matampi, Covid or not, the match would not have been “ 

easy because it's a derby.

We were not afraid, we know what is at stake in this competition and even if our teammates are absent, the others have wet the jersey.



1.Kinzumbi (Mazembe)

2.Ngimbi (Man U)

3.Radjabu (Man U)

4.Issama (Mazembe)

5. Kikasa (V. Club)

The physical trainer Male Makanzu has also been tested Positive.

They were all placed in isolation

- Jonathan Masiala (@ jomasiala4) January 17, 2021

For this meeting, beyond the technical and tactical aspect, Florent Ibenge admits to having worked more mental and psychology so that the news of the positive tests does not impact the morale of his troops.


Yes, it took a lot of talking to them and reassuring them.

When you eat at 33 and overnight you're only 28, that begs the question.

Are they sick, are they not sick.

They are locked up, they cannot move, in what conditions are they?

This raises questions and calls everything into question



In the meantime, the Leopards are savoring their victory in the Congolese derby.

A success " 

dedicated to the comrades who could not participate in the match

 " says Mika Mich.


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  • CHAN 2020

  • DRC

  • Congo Brazzaville

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