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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 November 2005, 14:23 GMT
DR Congo to make France trip
By Patrice Citera
BBC Sport, Kinshasa

DR Congo coach Claude Leroy is French
Leroy has been embarrassed by the disappearance of his players

The DR Congo's plans to set up a training camp in France, ahead of the Cup of Nations, are set to go ahead.

This follows the decision of the French embassy in Kinshasa to issue visas to 14 home-based players.

The trip was put in doubt by the French embassy's refusal to issue visas to the players, after strikers Toni Esame, Sasa Nseke and goalkeeper Nkela Nkatu absconded during previous visits to France.

But Pascal Perenek, a spokesman for the French embassy, said they decided to issue visas to players who "demonstrated a commitment to return home" after attending previous sessions.

"The Embassy has not completely changed its decision not to grant visas to players of the Simbas," he told BBC Sport.

"But we couldn't deny visas to players who didn't run away during previous trips.

"However, we are still cautious, which is why we have denied visas to five other home-based players.

"Our stance will soften if we don't record any new cases of players disappearing.

"But we think the Congolese Football Federation can play a major role in solving this problem by selecting serious players for the Simbas," Perenek said.

The five players who were denied visas were in the frame to earn their first international caps during games against second division French side Guingamp and African champions Tunisia.

Twelve Europe-based professionals will join the home-based players at the training camp.


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