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Congo faces crisis amid potential forfeit against Morocco in 2026 World Cup qualifiers

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Congo’s national football team is on the brink of another forfeit, this time against Morocco, in the fourth round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The team previously forfeited their match against Niger, and now faces similar turmoil ahead of Tuesday’s fixture in Morocco.

Ministry of Sports’ Decisions and Players’ Rebellion

The initial forfeit against Niger stemmed from a directive by the Ministry of Sports.

This latest issue, however, arises from the players themselves, who refused to board their flight to Morocco on Sunday morning.

The match had been relocated to Morocco for logistical reasons.

Several factors contributed to the players’ and staff’s drastic decision, as reported by the well-connected Congolese Players account.

Central to the unrest are severe financial difficulties plaguing Congolese football.

The Ministry of Sports only provided one-way tickets to Morocco, demanding that players fund their return tickets independently—a stipulation many found unacceptable.

Additionally, the coaching staff faced the burden of purchasing their own training equipment.

Internal Staff Disputes and Canceled Meetings

Adding to the discontent, key staff members including Fodé Doré, Ladislas Douniama, and the Team Manager were excluded from the traveling party, replaced by less familiar members of the Congolese Football Federation (Fecofoot).

This move sparked confusion and anger within the team.

Further fueling the frustration was the abrupt cancellation of a scheduled meeting with President Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

The meeting was intended to address the team’s pressing issues, and its cancellation left players and staff feeling even more neglected.

Public Outcry and Calls for Boycott

The situation has ignited a fierce reaction from the sports community and supporters. Social media platforms are abuzz with indignation and criticism.

See also  CAN 2013: THE BURKINA FASO PRESS BETWEEN JUBILATION AND ANGUISH!

One irate supporter expressed their frustration: “Proud, incompetent, thief but still in office.

Being the son-in-law of a dictator gives him the monopoly on screwing us over?”

There are also growing calls to boycott the national team in future gatherings, reflecting a widespread dissatisfaction with the current management, perceived as both incompetent and corrupt.

This crisis underscores the deep-seated problems and dysfunctions within Congolese football.

Implications for the 2026 World Cup

Congo currently sits last in Group E with zero points, trailing group leader Morocco by six points.

Another forfeit would likely extinguish any remaining hopes of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

FIFA may also impose severe sanctions in response to these continued forfeits, further deepening the crisis.

The coming hours will be crucial in determining whether a compromise can be reached to allow the team to travel and compete.

However, the broader issues plaguing Congolese football suggest that substantial changes are needed to restore stability and hope to the national team.

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Ibrahim Sannie

Ibrahim Sannie

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