Le Roy slams DR Congo's chaotic Cup build-up
- Published: 19/01/2013 at 12:45 AM
- Online news:
A record seventh appearance by coach Claude Le Roy at the Africa Cup of Nations was back on track Friday amid disarray in the DR Congo camp one day before the tournament kicks off.
DR Congo coach Claude le Roy (C) watches his players warm up ahead of a match in the capital Kinshasa on June 10, 2012. The DR Congo's Africa Cup of Nations campaign was in turmoil Friday as Le Roy, while denying reports he had quit, launched a scathing attack on his employers.
While denying a Congolese TV station report that he had quit in protest at poor management of the squad, Le Roy revealed his fury at a chaotic build-up in an interview with French radio station RFI.
"I never announced I was resigning, but I was very bitter to see that all our work had been screwed up (by the crisis over unpaid bonuses)," the 64-year-old coach said.
"It is mad, devastating to wreck a preparation like this, with such a lack of respect. They are talking of players as if they were children whereas they are adults.
"They are competing here (in South Africa) even though it will cost some of them money. Those who play in big clubs lose their bonuses and risk losing their place in the team.
"These players compete here because they are proud to wear their country's shirt -- and we are not talking about bonuses worth hundreds of thousands of euros per player," he stressed.
Le Roy led Cameroon to the Cup of Nations title in 1988, the same country to second place two years earlier, and Ghana to third place at the 2008 finals. He has also coached DR Congo before and Senegal at the tournament.
Payment rows are a perennial feature of Africa Cup tournaments as players, coaches and officials argue over match appearance fees, win and draw bonuses, and special payments for reaching certain stages of the competition.
Meanwhile, star defender Stoppila Sunzu will return to training with Zambia Saturday after spending this week on trial at relegation-threatened English Premier League outfit Reading.
Sunzu, who plays for four-time CAF Champions League winners Tout Puissant Mazembe in DR Congo, hopes to clinch a deal during the English mid-season transfer window.
But the attention of the 2012 CAF Africa-based Footballer of the Year finalist now turns to the opening Group C match against Ethiopia at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit Monday.
Burkina Faso, who confront Nigeria in the second half of a double-header, will be without star midfielder Charles Kabore and ace goal poacher Alain Traore.
Kabore carried a suspension into the tournament after yellow cards in qualifiers against the Central African Republic, and Traore has not fully recovered from a heel injury.
The Burkinabe defeated South African champions Orlando Pirates 3-0 in a warm-up thanks to goals from Aristide Bance, Abdou Razack Traore and Pierre Koulibaly.
The tournament kicks off Saturday with a Group A double-header -- South Africa versus Cape Verde Islands and Angola versus Morocco - before a sell-out 90,000 crowd at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency