By Patrice Citera
BBC Sport, Kinshasa
Henri Depireux has complained to Fifa over his unpaid salary
DR Congo's Sports Minister Pardonne Kaliba is surprised that national coach Henri Depireux has complained to Fifa over the non-payment of his salary.
"I am stunned to hear that the coach has sent his letter of complaint to Fifa, especially as it was just hours after leaving my office and he hadn't mentioned the letter to me," Kaliba told BBC Sport.
"We have just paid him six months salary in the last 2 weeks but if he has already sent the letter of complaint to Fifa, we are ready to go and defend ourselves.
"I've done all I can to clear his six months arrears and we are working on settling all his arrears.
"The Coach should understand we are a country that has just come out of war, and this year's budget is yet to be passed by parliament, so he should be a bit patient."
The Belgian coach said on Wednesday he had written a letter of complaint to Fifa because he had no other way of claiming his salary.
"I sent my complaint to Fifa last week, and have sent a copy of it to the football federation," Henri Depireux said.
"I suppose that the federation has taken it to the sports ministry (who are responsible for paying the coach's salary) because if there's no solution Fifa might ban the country from international football for two years."
"It's really frustrating for me after the eleven months of sacrifice that I've endured to lead the country to the top of Group Ten of the 2008 Nations Cup qualifiers."
Despite his complaints Depireux has aggreed to be in charge of the Leopards against Ethiopia in a Nations Cup qualifier on Friday after his laywer advised him to do so.
"I'm travelling with the team to Ehiopia, but I won't go with them to Namibia for the following game on 17 June," he explained.
However one person not travelling for the game in Ethiopia is the DR Congo striker Lomana Lualua after authorities failed to send him his travel documents on time.
Depireux has left Shabani Nonda out of his squad for the upcoming qualifiers because he has not shown enough commitment to the team.