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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

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Sacked DR Congo Mick Wadsworth has attacked the way the country's FA is run after the team's poor showing in the African Cup of Nations.

The Simbas suffered a terrible time, losing all three of their group matches in the tournament.

But Wadsworth, who only took over in November, said that he had been unable to have any control over the side because the FA took the decisions out of his hands.

"The whole thing was a disaster from minute one," Wadsworth told BBC World Service's World Football programme.

"When I signed the contract, they agreed that I would control all the preparation, the programme, where we would go, how we would go, the selection of players - all sorts of things like that, which would be quite normal.

"It was the exact opposite."

Key players missing

Wadsworth also said he had not been told who was eligable to play for the side - or even how to contact them.

" I had no control whatsoever of where we went for the training camps, I had no control of the selection of players," he said.



"[The DR Congo FA] have no control of it anyway - they've got no list, no database.

"The whole thing was really chatotic and bizarre at times.

"The whole organisation is based on politics within Kinshasa. It's got very little to do with football I'm afraid."

He added he had only found out in the last week that key players such as Kiki Musampa, Hervé Nzelo-Lembi and Peguy Luyindula "would not play" for DR Congo because of the lack of organisation and money.

Two years ago, DR Congo unexpectedly made the quarter-finals in Mali, and with Newcastle striker Lomana LuaLua captaining the team were expected to do well this time around.

However, they were out after two matches, after a narrow loss to Guinea was followed by a 3-0 defeat to hosts Tunisia - a match that saw LuaLua sent off.

Wadsworth said that he felt the Tunisians had "made it as good for themselves as they possibly can" in hosting the tournament.

Both he and LuaLua were vocal in highlighting that the team had to share a hotel with Mali, which meant they were cramped together, and that they were situated an hour away from the training pitch.

"That meant if we wanted to train twice a day, it was five hours on a coach in the day - which precluded training twice a day," Wadsworth said.

"When we got to the training ground it was locked. When we got on it, an hour later, there were no lines on it, no nets. we never got the tournament balls that we were supposed to get.

"They stopped me going to watch Tunisia on the opening night for some reason, something to do with accreditation - but I'm sure it was something else."

Death threats

Further problems for the Simbas arose surrounding LuaLua, who said his family in Kinshasa had received death threats.

"I'm putting mine and my family's life at risk," he said after his sending off.



Wadsworth was highly critical of how some fans were taking their passion too far.

"That side of it is really unacceptable," he said.

"Lomana LuaLua was very wrried for the safety of the family that he has still in Kinshasa, and very worried for his future - so much so that his father doesn't want him to play again."

Wadsworth did add, however, that despite the problems he was still happy he took the job.

"Nothing could have prepared me for the actuality and the experience I had," he said.

"It was a most amazing experience.

"While I was doing it was very difficult at times, but now I've finished it I'm glad that I did it."

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