Nations Cup 2015: LeRoy finalises Congo squad

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Congo coach Claude LeRoy

Congo coach Claude LeRoy has finalised his squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after cutting three players from the provisional list.

The young Belgian-based pair of Scott Bitsindou and Jordan Massengo were left out by LeRoy.

And Bastia midfielder Christopher Maboulou failed to turn up for a pre-tournament training camp in Senegal, the Congolese Football Federation said.

Congo are competing at the Nations Cup finals for the first time since 2000 and play in the tournament's opening fixture against hosts Equatorial Guinea on 17 January in Bata.

Last month LeRoy dropped a number of players including locally-based goalkeeper Joe Ombandza and Lille's Kevin Koubemba, but added uncapped France-born defender Christopher Maboulou, who was not part of the previous provisional squad.

Marseille goalkeeper Brice Samba who has represented France at youth level was omitted after failing to commit to the country of his birth at senior level.

Congo's Group A fixtures:
17 Jan: v Equatorial Guinea in Bata
21 Jan: v Gabon in Bata
25 Jan: v Burkina Faso in Ebebiyin

Experienced defender Chris Samba was another to be left out of the preliminary 38-man squad. Samba had rejected a call-up in September for Congo's qualifying double-header against South Africa.

The Red Devils will play the biennial tournament-bound Cape Verde in a warm-up on January 10 at the Léopold Sédar Senghor Stadium in Dakar.

Congo enjoyed their heyday in the 1970s, when the Red Devils beat Mali 3-2 in the final of the 1972 tournament.

Two years later, the holders took eventual finalists Zambia to extra-time in the semi-finals before losing 4-2.

Congo's provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Chansel Massa (AC Léopards de Dolisie), Christoffer Mafoumbi (Le Pontet, France), Pavhel Ndzila (Étoile du Congo)

Defenders: Boris Moubio and Dimitri Bissiki (AC Léopards de Dolisie), Marvin Baudry (SC Amiens, France), Francis Nganga (Charleroi, Belgium), Igor Nganga (FC Aarau, Switzerland), Arnold Bouka Moutou (SCO Angers, France), Antoni Mavoungou (CNFF)

Midfielders: Hardy Binguila (Diables Noirs), Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos, Greece), Prince Oniangué (Reims, France), Sagesse Babélé and Césair Gandzé (AC Léopards de Dolisie), Chris Malonga (FC Lausanne-Sport, Switzerland)

Forwards: Fodé Doré (CFR Cluj, Romania), Thievy Bifouma (Almeria, Spain), Sylvère Ganvoula (Raja Casablanca, Morocco), Dominique Malonga (Hibernian, Scotland), Ladislas Douniama (Guingamp, France), Franci Litsingi (FK Teplice, Czech Republic), Fabrice Ondama (Wydad Casablanca, Morocco)