Congo coach criticises Africa Cup of Nations organisers

Congo coach Claude Le Roy
Congo coach Claude Le Roy

Congo coach Claude Le Roy again criticised Africa Cup of Nations organisers on Saturday as his team spent more than a hour fighting through the crowds to reach the stadium for the tournament’s opening match.

Le Roy said the bus drive from the hotel that previously took 12 minutes this time lasted 65 minutes as they battled through the traffic heading to the match against hosts Equatorial Guinea at the Estadio de Bata.

“It was close to 40 degrees and we had no air conditioning in the bus. We were supposed to have an escort but they left us in the crowd, in a big traffic jam. The police were just smiling (at our predicament).”

Le Roy, who had previously complained about hotel and training conditions, said his side arrived only 20 minutes before their warm-up period.


“Games in competitions like this are won on the small details and CAF (the Confederation of African Football) have a duty to protect teams. It is not possible that players are disrespected like that. That is why we started so badly.”

Congo went behind to a 17th minute goal in a sluggish start but later took control of the match to force a late equaliser though Thievy Bifouma for a 1-1 draw.

“I like to win but tonight I have to be satisfied with the result. How we react from now will be particularly important.”

Le Roy is coaching at a record eighth Nations Cup and was scathing about the organisation around the finals in Equatorial Guinea, who stepped in just over two months ago as hosts.

Morocco were stripped of the right to stage the tournament after requesting a postponement due to the deadly Ebola virus that has claimed more than 8,400 victims in West Africa.