Vita Club of DR Congo are yet to forget their bitter elimination from the CAF Champions League group stage at the hands of Tanzanian side Simba, whom the Congolese are accusing of poisoning attempts during the March 16 clash at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Florent Ibenge, who is also the coach of DR Congo national team, told ACLSports that there were enough suspicions that the Tanzanian club wanted to weaken his team by using unconventional means.
“We lost the game 2-1 but that is not the question. In my entire career as a coach I had never experienced what we saw at Dar es Salaam. First of all, we were declined the used of the field for training. Secondly, our dressing room was sprayed with a poisonous substance that caused suffocation once you step in,” he told ACLSports.
“I had to alert a CAF official who came to see for himself. He immediately asked all to vacate the place to a nearby corridor and provided masks for us. But despite covering our noses and faces the chemical odour was still very perceptible.
“The second attempt was on the pitch. The bottled water they gave to my team had substances inside. You can’t even swallow it. When one of my players attempted he spat out what he had sipped. Another player rinsed his face with water and couldn’t open his eyes for a while because it was peppery according to him. I gave the bottles to the match commissioner as evidence of our complaint.
“This is not fair in football. We have officially complained to CAF,” he said.
On Thursday, CAF confirmed receiving a complaint from Vita Club and promised to open an investigation.
Simba will face another Congolese side TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals in the first week of next month.