By Patrice Citera
BBC Sport, Kinshasa
Claude Leroy has finally signed a contract as coach of the DR Congo
Frenchman Claude Leroy has finally signed a two-year contract to manage DR Congo's national team.
The former Senegal and Cameroon coach has been looking after the Simbas without a contract for the last three months.
Leroy had previously refused to sign a contract because the country's football federation, Fecofa, had been unable to make assurances that a suitable budget would be in place for the team.
But that appears to have been resolved.
"I feel proud and it's huge honour for me," Leroy told BBC Sport after signing
"I've been working for almost three months without a contract but I had a lot of confidence in the people I was working with.
"I wasn't impatient because I knew the contract would be signed sometime," he said.
"But I wanted to be sure that there's some sort of protection for the national team and my staff.
"These people are very important to me, which is why I wanted to protect and defend them before signing a contract," he explained.
Leroy has had a stormy relationship with Fecofa and threatened to walk out on the team on the eve of a 2006 World Cup qualifier with Burkina Faso.
But the Frenchman told BBC Sport that his relationship with the federation has improved.
"I have a good relationship with Fecofa's president and the Sports Minister. I am sure everything is alright now," he said.
"I wasn't too worried about the contract because President Joseph Kabila agreed to back me," he explained.
Leroy's salary has not been made public but it has been revealed that he will be given a house in Kinshasa, a car as well as eight trips a year to Europe.
He has helped DR Congo to a win over Burkina Faso and a draw with Cape Verde in their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign.