DR Congo wont plead with Wan-Bissaka to dump England


DR Congo coach Sébastien Desabre has suggested that they are not in a position to demand that Manchester United star Aaron Wan-Bissaka switch international allegiance if he’s not really keen to play for the Leopards.

“He’s a nice player as you know but we won’t run after the players. We have a lot of players who worked very hard for us to qualify for Afcon. If Aaron or other players are at a good level and want to come there’s no problem,” Desabre said after Congo’s 0-1 defeat to Bafana Bafana in a friendly at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday.

“The team is open for all players [who have Congolese connection] but on one condition that they must want it with their hearts to come to the national team. When it’s the right moment for this guy (Wan-Bissaka), he can come.”

Wan-Bissaka, who has a reputation as the best defender in one-on-one situations, was born in England and is of Congolese descent through his father.

Wan-Bissaka, 25, has previously made one Under-20 appearance for Congo when they were thumped 8-0 by his country of birth England in October 2015 in a friendly, before playing twice for England’s U-20 side and three times for the U-21 side in 2018 and 2019.

In March this year English publication, Mirror, reported that Wan-Bissaka would consider representing Congo, should they qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, to be staged in Ivory Coast in January. The Leopards have since achieved that feat.

Meanwhile, Lyle Foster scored the solitary goal that sank Congo against SA, where Congolese fans outnumbered the locals in Soweto. Frenchman Desabre reckons having overseas-based superstars is what also attracted their fans to come in big crowds to watch them.

“Most of our players play in Europe and they are superstars and these fans hadn’t seen them before, so they came in numbers to watch them… players like [Cédric] Bakambu [who plays for Turkish giants Galatasaray], Chadrac Akolo [who’s the property of Swiss Super League club St Gallen]. We are so happy about that,” Desabre said. — BBC Sport

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