Masuaku, three others pull out from DR Congo squad

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The quartet have returned to their respective clubs due to inadequate technical organisation in the Leopards’ fold

West Ham United defender Arthur Masuaku, Standard Liege winger Paul-Jose M'Poku, Guingamp defender Jordan Ikoko and Amiens forward Gael Kakuta have all dropped out of DR Congo friendly tie against Tanzania.

The players took no part when Florent Ibenge’s men trade tackles with Tanzania at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Tuesday. The four players opted out of the squad due to poor organisational setup.

Masuaku will now have to wait for his international debut with DR Congo after the Congolese Football Federation confirmed their departure from the team’s camp in Dar es Salaam.

“It is indeed true that players of the selection of Jean-Florent Ibenge Ikwange for tomorrow’s friendly [Tuesday, March 27, 2018], received their tickets back to their clubs at the dawn of Monday, March 26, 2018 with the coordination of national teams of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” read a statement on FECOFA website.

“This was at their express request, since the transit of Addis on Saturday, March 24th. The players are Paul-José Mpoku, Gael Kakuta, Arthur Masuaku and Jordan Ikoko. They all lamented certain organisational aspects of the course which, unfortunately, are neither within the competence of the Federation, much less the technical staff of the Congolese national team.

“Indeed, it must have frustrated the players - some have cracked, shunned and asked to leave because of what has been done for the four aforementioned. The others, on the other hand, agree to play against Tanzania provided that the next game during the Fifa break, in May 2018, meets all the optimal conditions of preparation as well as motivation.

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Also, the Congolese Football Federation have blamed the country’s Minister of Sports and Recreation, Papi Niango for not approving a proposed charter jet to take the Leopards to their friendly match.

“And by the way, all the failures this stage has suffered are attributable to Papi Niango [minister of Sports and Recreation] in large part, notably by refusing to sign the mission orders of the senior Leopards Pro-A, U-20 and U-17," the statement continued.

“We will come back to it in great detail in our next deliveries. Even the long routing to Dar-es-Salam via Addis Ababa, it was forced by the Minister Papi Niango who did not accede to the proposal of the technical staff to charter Congo Airways plane. He cited reasons of public treasury.”

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