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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 16:29 GMT
DR Congo denied by visa problems
Lomana LuaLua
LuaLua has had visa difficulties with French authorities before

DR Congo coach Claude Leroy's plans for Friday's friendly against Tunisia in Paris have been decimated by the refusal of visas to several players.

French immigration authorities have denied visas to various Simbas, including captain Cyrille Mubiala and forward Lomana LuaLua.

"We have had huge difficulties in getting our players here," the French coach said at a news conference in the French capital on Thursday.

"LuaLua could not travel because he was denied a visa.

"The same applies for those of our players based in South Africa as well."

Yet Leroy said that there was no real reason given for the denial of visas to the players.

Captain Mubiala and Tshinyama Tsholola, who both play for Ajax Cape Town, were among the handful of South Africa-based footballers denied a visa.

In Turkey, Istanbulspor forward Kabamba Musasa was also refused entry to France.

In August, the French Embassy in Kinshasa said it would no longer issue visas to DR Congo players after three different players disappeared on training camps in the European nation.

Yet the Embassy changed its mind earlier this month when granting 14 DR Congo-based footballers entry visas to France.

Nonetheless, Leroy has been angered by these latest visa denials, especially since he was keen to link up LuaLua with striker Shabani Nonda, who has missed many internationals over the past few years through injury.

This is not the first time LuaLua has encountered problems with the French immigration system.

When DR Congo defeated Guinea 3-1 in a friendly in August in Paris, he was initially denied entrance to the country.

French officials kept the youngster in questioning for three hours and only a last-minute dash to the airport by Leroy enabled his entry to the country.

In the end though, LuaLua received only a 12-hour visa.




SEE ALSO
DR Congo to make France trip
05 Nov 05 |  African
No French visas for DRC team
30 Aug 05 |  African


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