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Congo DR drags Eaglets to Tata Raphael

25 July 2014, 20:18Israel Ojoko

Kinshasa - With the works still ongoing at their main stadium, the artificial surface of Tata Raphael stadium in Kinshasa will host Golden Eaglets and Congo Democratic Republic's much anticipated 2015 Under-17 African Championship qualifier on Saturday.

The match was earlier scheduled for the TP Mazembe Stadium in Lubumbashi but the Federation of Congolese Football Association (FECOFA) only informed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) about the changes few days before the Golden Eaglets' departure. The Tata Raphael Stadium is the same venue local side; AS Vita Club humbled Kano Pillars 3-1 in an African Champions League fixture in February.

Meanwhile, the continental soccer ruling body, CAF, has picked officials from Cameroon to handle the second round - first leg fixture expected to be watched by a capacity crowd.

The centre referee would be 31-year-old Antoine Max Depadoux Effa Essouma who became an international referee in 2013 with his compatriots, 40-year-old Thierry Bruno Tocke and 36-year-old Hamadou Sadou serving as first and second assistants respectively. The fourth official is 36-year-old Mandeng Bakalay Cosmas Jerome while Michel Gasingwa from Rwanda would serve as Match Commissioner.

Dignitaries expected to watch the match include Nigeria's Ambassador to the Congo DR, Grant Ehiobuche, Governor of Kinshasa City, Mayor of Kalamu Community, DR Congo's Minister of Youth Matters and sports as well as executive members of FECOFA.

In the meantime, Ambassador Ehiobuche has equivocally told the Golden Eaglets to go out for victory against the home team: "I would be there with you and that means, President Goodluck Jonathan is also with you in spirit," he said at the team's lunch time on Friday.

"Please, grant us victory against Congo DR because I was so ashamed when our team, Kano Pillars was beaten here the last time. You are our future hope and I want you to prove that by beating Congo DR on Saturday, "he added.

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