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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
DR Congo coach suspended
By Patrice Citera
BBC Fast Track, Kinshasa

Henri Depireux
Depireux has been suspended, but hit back at the authorities
DR Congo coach Henri Depireux has launched a bitter attack on the country's sports authorities, in the wake of their failure to qualify for the Nations Cup finals.

Depireux has been suspended by the country's sports minister, Pardonne Kaliba, in response to the failure.

The government says the suspension has been imposed after the coach failed to supply a match report on the Libya game before leaving for his native Belgium.

But the coach reacted to the move with contempt.

"I was amazed to hear that I was suspended for not handing in the match report," he said.

"That's a way for the authorities to try to hide how incapable they are of managing sports in the country.

"I don't think a match report was really important after we failed to make it to Ghana, for the people who did not do what they were supposed to do to help me and my players focus on the last game.

And he appeared to close the door on any possible reconciliation, saying "I can never return to Kinshasa because I've had enough of working in bad conditions and disorganisation."

Stripped of the captaincy

Depireux also said the move offered him the opportunity to re-open his case against DR Congo's authorities with Fifa.

He has been trying to recoup unpaid salary from the government.

The minister also acted against the captain of the Leopards, Lomana LuaLua.

He has had the captaincy taken from him.

Two other players, Fuanda Kinkela and Mbayo Kibemba, have been told they are no longer part of the national set-up.

They were accused of trying to stop their colleagues from heading for the match against Libya, in a dispute over bonuses.

Kibemba told the BBC he had not tried to engineer a strike, but that there had been a dispute, because only half the promised money had been paid before the match.

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