CAN 2024 qualifiers: DR Congo, a turn not to be missed in Gabon

Last in Pool I of the CAN 2024 qualifiers, DR Congo travels Sunday (18:<> GMT) to Gabon for a high-risk meeting. A defeat would seriously jeopardize his chances of qualifying for the CAN.

The RDC team. (File image). RFI / Pierre René-Worms

Text by: Ndiasse Sambe Follow


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Will DR Congo miss a second straight Africa Cup after missing the one in Cameroon in 2022? The threat hangs over the Leopards who, on the eve of the 5th day, are last in their pool, behind Gabon, Sudan, and Mauritania. In Libreville, against the Panthers, first of the group and who have just recorded the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sébastien Desabre's men must win or, at worst, bring back a point to maintain hope and avoid disillusionment. "It's a crucial match for us," said Congolese defender Chancel Mbemba upon receiving the Marc-Vivien Foé award. Every Congolese player is aware of the importance of the match. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be a great game."

>> Read also: Marc-Vivien Foé Prize 2023: the Congolese Chancel Mbemba succeeds Seko Fofana

Chancel Mbemba: "having a good refereeing"

The defender of Olympique de Marseille knows that his team is back to the wall after losing its first two games and missing the boat in Mauritania where they led the score (1-1). A meeting that left a bitter taste for the Leopards, most of whom believe they were victims of the refereeing of the Tunisian Sadok Selmi who had sent off the striker of the day, Cédric Bakambu. The Congolese Federation had even filed an appeal with CAF, which had decided to temporarily suspend the referee. "The most important thing is to have a good refereeing, that's all we ask of CAF," said Chancel Mbemba. Because we are not going to go there to lose, but to defend the flag of our country ».

All our support and strength to our valiant leopards! 🐆🇨🇩💪🏽

📍Leave a message of support to our valiant leopards who are on a commando mission since the course in Douala.

— Fecofa RDC_Officiel (@FecofaRdc) June 14, 2023

Behind the scenes, the DRC has also "filed a file on the qualification of a Mauritanian player during the return match," announced Sébastien Desabre at a press conference on Thursday, June 15. The player in question is none other than Khadim Diaw, a midfielder, born in Dakar and who played in the CHAN 2020 qualifiers with the local Senegal team, before wearing the Mourabitounes jersey. If the Congolese win their case, they could recover valuable points on the green carpet at the expense of Mauritania. In the meantime, the battle of Libreville awaits them.

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  • CAN 2024
  • DRC
  • CAN
  • Football
  • Sports