Mazembe to appeal Champions League disqualification

DR Congo side TP Mazembe celebrate winning the African Champions League
Mazembe are the African Champions League holders

Title Holders TP Mazembe of DR Congo will appeal against their exclusion from the Champions League.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) disqualified them after Tanzania's Simba complained about the eligibility of Janvier Besala Bokungu.

Mazembe's owner, Moise Katumbi, denied any wrongdoing and confirmed his club would appeal.

"We're very surprised to see Mazembe has been disqualified, we know our administration is very clean," he said.

Mazembe beat Simba 6-3 on aggregate in the second round of the tournament.

Simba will play Morocco's Wydad Casablanca, who lost to Mazembe in the third round, for a spot in the group stages of the tournament event.

The one-off game will be played at a neutral venue next week.

Mazembe have won the Champions League for the last two years and reached the final of the Club World Cup last season, losing 3-0 to Italians Inter Milan in the final.

Bokungu, a 22-year-old Kinshasa-born defender, was transferred from Mazembe to Tunisian club Esperance in 2007 and rejoined the Congolese club this year.

Reports say he then broke a contract with the Tunis team that runs until June this year, but a Mazembe official insisted the Bokungu transfer was legal.

"Janvier properly revoked his contract with Esperance and Mazembe have no problem with the player or his former club. He was acquired after a mutual agreement," Mazembe general manager Frederic Kitengie told reporters.

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