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Football - Lazio Cup: Five TP Mazembe youngsters and a manager flee in Italy

Football - Lazio Cup: Five TP Mazembe youngsters and a manager flee in ItalyFootball - Lazio Cup: Five TP Mazembe youngsters and a manager flee in Italy

Quarter-finalists in the Lazio Cup, a youth tournament in Italy, TP Mazembe's U17 team saw five of its youngsters and one of its managers disappear. A complaint has even been lodged by the Congolese club.

Officially, everything went very well. Engaged for the Lazio Cup, TP Mazembe's youngsters took advantage of this Italian tournament to perfect their "increased knowledge of things soccer", as the club's Facebook page puts it. In reality, the club imposed a blackout after five youngsters* and one of its directors absconded.

Contacted by Sport News Africa on Thursday, the Congolese club did not reply. When contacted by another media outlet, FootRDC, the only response was laconic: "We do not communicate with the press on this subject." However, the Corbeaux lodged a complaint after the first leaks of four elements. Despite heightened security, as FootRDC explains, a fifth element was able to escape from the hotel after the quarter-final loss to RC Ruh Lviv (6-0).

An executive has not returned to the DRC

Having recently opened the doors of its academy to youngsters from Kinshasa and not just Lubumbashi, the Katumbi Football Academy was hoping to breathe new life into its training. So far, however, the academy has been largely unsuccessful, particularly in terms of acclimatization. Internally, it is understood that four of the five absconders came from Kinshasa, while the fifth was a former student of Ecofoot Katumbi in Lubumbashi, another soccer school owned by Moïse Katumbi, the owner of TP Mazembe.

Sport News Africa has also learned that an executive, in this case the technical coordinator and head coach of the Katumbi Football Academy, Jean-Claude Loboko, has not returned to the DRC. TP Mazembe did not answer this question when asked.

* Bisalu Gueazy, Kiwongi Chris, Mulamba Hypolite, Mubaya Mechck, Kazadi Medo.*

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