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Mazembe president eyes next year’s cup

Congolese club's president sets sights on more success next year and hails Samuel Eto’o

Mohamad Mosselhi, Thursday 23 Dec 2010
Mazembe
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The chairman of Congolese club TP Mazembe, Moise Katumbi, has reiterated that his men haven’t achieved their targets yet and are aiming to win the CAF champions league title for the third time in a row and the Club World Cup next year.

“We will make an intensive preparation for the new CAF champions League campaign. We wanted to win the World Cup but we didn’t so we’ll try to win the African title and get another shot next year,” Katumbi told Congolese news agency Digital Congo.

TP Mazembe became the first African team to defend their CAF Champions League title twice in 1967, 1968 and 2009, 2010.

They created more history this month when they became the first African team to reach the final of FIFA’s Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

Their adventure ended sorely with a 3-0 defeat to Inter Milan.

“Inter players have a very big experience in playing such vital games. It made a big difference.

“The Japanese referee played a big role in our defeat. He handed us six yellow cards and it panicked my players,” he added.

Speaking of which, Katumbi slammed the few supporters who rioted in Lubumbashi against the Chinese after taking the referee for Chinese. “He was not Chinese, he was Japanese but that doesn’t mean that he must attack all Japanese, he is just an individual.”

Katumbi was also full of praise for Cameroon and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o who showed how loyal to the continent he is.

“Before the game he told our players that they represent him but he must do his job. He spent most of the time with us not with his Inter teammates. It’s a great moment for Eto’o and Africa too. He won the title and was named best player of the tournament,” Katumbi was quoted as saying.

The TP Mazembe chief also revealed that his next plans for the club is to invest in its infrastructure. “A big stadium and four training grounds are under construction in Lubumbashi.”

Katumbi, a politician and businessman, took charge of the club in 1997 and helped them to revive their local and continental glory after almost a 40-year long walk in the desert.

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