Congo coach Claude Le Roy has called on CAF to take action after his side’s bus took more than an hour to travel to Estadio de Bata for a 1-1 draw with Africa Cup of Nations hosts Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.
The veteran of eight AFCON finals has already made clear his displeasure at the level of accommodation on offer in the host nation, but this latest incident has sparked fresh fury.
“Usually our journey to the stadium takes 12 minutes, today in 40 degrees and no air conditioning it took 65 minutes,” he said.
“The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has to protect teams when they are travelling to the stadium.
“They put us in a big crowd in a traffic jam. Everyone was smiling, the policemen… maybe it is not an excuse, but if our beginning in the game was so poor – high-level competition is about small details.
“If CAF doesn’t understand they have to protect the players from the hotel to the stadium, they have to change. It is not possible for the payers to travel like this.”
Thievy Bifouma netted three minutes from time to earn Congo a draw, after Emilio Nsue’s 16th-minute strike had given Equatorial Guinea the lead.
Despite seeing Dominique Malonga squander a stoppage-time opportunity to snatch all three Group A points, Le Roy was satisfied with his team’s performance.
“We were very good in the last 30 minutes,” he added. “For all my 23 players it was their first experience of the Africa Cup of Nations. You need experience of a high-level competition.
“We are not happy that we missed a chance in the last minute to win it 2-1, but we saved ourselves.
“Defeat would have been catastrophic – psychologically and in terms of points. We fought until then and we have huge quality in this team.”
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