Congolose players upset over bonus doubts

Jan 16, 2013
  • The DRC team.

Democratic Republic of Congo players threatened to boycott training in Oman on Friday in protest at uncertainty over bonuses for the Africa Cup of Nations, coach Claude Le Roy told AFP.

"There was a meeting between the players who were fed up at not knowing how much their bonuses would be eight days before the Nations Cup. They said they would not go to train but in the end the training session went ahead as normal,” said the Frenchman.

Le Roy spoke out in his players' defence: "They've been told they must play for their national pride, but if they are here that means of course they are playing for their country.

"But they are missing one month's competition with their clubs with the risk of losing their first team place. And their demand is by no means outlandish.

"The five or six lead players asked for me to say that it's not acceptable, and I understand them.  They've got a great respect for me. Between the players and the staff the work atmosphere is great."

The veteran manager added: "You'd have to be naive to think the (DRC Football) Federation has the money, with support from the Government the federation has nothing."

Le Roy's side are drawn in Group B with his former team and 2012 semifinalists Ghana, Mali and Niger.

We are Minnows,Le Roy

 Le Roy believes his side will not be coming to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as favourites, but as underdogs capable of spoiling the dreams of some big guns.

The Leopards are returning to the continental scene after six years of absence since their last appearance in 2006.

“We are not favourites of the competition, far from that. But we can consider ourselves as underdogs and can create surprises and perhaps spoil some dreams of top flights,” the Frenchman said.

“There are three teams I see as top favourites for the tournament – Algeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast. I don’t think any other team would be able to clinch the trophy besides one from the above three,” he added.

The central Africans  will play their first match against the Black Stars on January 20 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.