Stoke City's Gianelli Imbula challenges John Obi Mikel of Chelsea
Thursday Jun 13, 2019. 09:12
Former French youth international Gianelli Imbula says he is “sad and angry” after missing out on selection for DR Congo’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations squad.
The 26-year-old was born in Belgium and raised in France, but is eligibly to play for the Leopards as his parents hail from the DRC.
Imbula was hoping to play at Egypt 2019 but was not included in the 23-man squad for the finals by coach Florent Ibenge.
Having been part of the team’s 32-man provisional roster and present at a training camp in Marbella, Spain, Imbula’s says his omission is because he was unable to secure the necessary clearance to swap international allegiance from FIFA in time.
"It is with a mixture of sadness and anger that I write these few lines,"Imbula said in a statement on social media.
"It has been more than a month since I agreed to wear the Democratic Republic of Congo jersey.
"It's been many weeks that I have been preparing myself physically and mentally to be in the best condition to deliver my best form at the Africa Cup of Nations.
"But [on Tuesday] I was told early in the afternoon that my file was not up to date and that I could not participate with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"At this moment I am very sad not to be able to participate with my teammates at this competition and very angry that I had believed it would be possible.
"I wish good luck to the team and I will be with all my teammates during the next CAN," he added.