Johannesburg - Members of the Central African
Republic's national football squad will delay their return home, the
team manager said Monday, after rebels invaded the country's capital
while the players were in South Africa for a Soccer World Cup qualifier.
Kongo said the players would leave South Africa in two groups, but
neither would be returning home immediately. He said the Europe-based
players would fly to Paris later on Monday, while the domestic players
would leave Tuesday for Douala in Cameroon, where they could monitor the
situation at home.
Rebel soldiers overthrew President Francois
Bozize on Sunday, taking over the presidential palace and forcing the
country's leader of a decade to flee the capital, Bangui.
said players usually transferred through western neighbor Cameroon on
their way home, but would stay over in Douala for longer than a couple
of days to see if it was safe to go home.
The home-based players
still wanted to go home, according to Kongo, and had no reservations
about returning. They would probably still go back this week, he said.
take one to two weeks for everything to be OK," Kongo said by telephone from Cape Town, where the CAR team lost
2-0 to South Africa in its World Cup qualifier on Saturday.
South African Football Association said it was too early for it to talk
to the Confederation of African Football or FIFA about whether to move
countries' return qualifier in Central African Republic in June.
South African soldiers were killed in the fighting in Central African
Republic over the weekend, South Africa president Jacob Zuma said on