TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been expelled from the Champions League after fielding an ineligible player in the preliminary round game against Tanzania’s Simba SC.
The four-time African champions, who won the previous two editions in 2009 and 2010, were severely punished for playing defender Janvier Bokungu against Simba in the Champions League round of 32.
“Following a complaint filed by Simba Sports of Tanzania…the Confederation of African football launched an investigation on the eligibility of TP Mazembe’s player named Janvier Besala Bokungu,” the African governing body said in a statement on Saturday.
“The findings of the investigation were submitted to the Organising Committee for CAF Interclubs Competitions.
“Based on those findings, the Organising Committee decided to disqualify TP Mazembe on the basis of Chapter VIII (Fraud), article 24, article 26 (Qualification of Players) and article 29 of Orange CAF Champions League regulations.”
Bokungu allegedly breached his contract with Tunisian outfit Esperance to join Mazembe. He was suspended by CAF earlier this month pending investigations.
Mazembe overcame Simba before defeating Morocco’s Wydad Casablance in the next round to book a place in the Champions League group stage.
“The Organising Committee also decided that the replacement will be made after a play-off match between Simba FC and Wydad of Casablanca to be played next week in a neutral venue,” CAF added.