TP Mazembe win DR Congo title for a record 16th time

By Kennedy GondweBBC Sport
Five-time African champions TP Mazembe are the current holders of the Confederation Cup
Five-time African champions TP Mazembe are the current holders of the Confederation Cup

Moise Katumbi, the chairman of TP Mazembe, has dedicated his team's latest triumph to the Congolese people.

Five-time African champions Mazembe beat AS Vita Club 1-0 on Wednesday to take the title for a record 16th time.

Katumbi is an opposition leader currently in exile from DR Congo after falling out with President Joseph Kabila.

"This victory is for the Congolese people because football unites everybody," Katumbi told BBC Sport.

Katumbi says the team's vision for next season is to promote young players from his academy to conquer Africa.

"In the next eight years, I foresee my country being a real football force not only in Africa but the whole world," he said.

Katumbi said that winning the title has not been easy.

"We are the only team that doesn't receive any support from the provincial government," he said on the phone from Morocco where he is attending a Confederation of African Football symposium.

"All other teams are given transport money to fulfil their fixtures. Ever since I resigned as Governor of the Katanga province, my team has suffered sanctions."

Moise Katumbi
Moise Katumbi is currently in exile after falling with out with President Kabila, his former ally

Katumbi announced his presidential ambitions last year but was convicted of illegal property selling and sentenced to three years in prison in absentia shortly after.

Judge Chantal Ramazani has since said she was pressured to do so by the country's intelligence service in a bid to block his political ambitions.

The intelligence services deny the allegations.

DR Congo's elections were due to be held in late 2016 but have yet to take place. Their timing is still uncertain.