6th February 2019

Tunisian club alleges food poisoning led to 8-0 loss

A row has developed between Tunisia’s Club Africain and TP Mazembe, after the Tunisian club suggested that food poisoning had played a part in its 8-0 loss to the Congolese club in a 2 February Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League game. On the team’s return from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Tunisian club conducted tests on its players, which reportedly came back negative. It was later reported that the club has sent samples taken from three players to a French Laboratory for analysis.

Club Africain suspects that players were poisoned via food or drink that was given to them in Lubumbashi before the game, it is understood. ‘The Africain club accuses TPM of intoxicating its players by injecting substances into their food’, read a tweet from Frederic Kitengie, Sporting Director of TP Mazembe. ‘The accuser is Secretary General of the club. But this rude stance did not prevent the Tunisian coach from […] leaving this drifting boat’. Club Africain’s coach, Shihab Ellili, tendered his resignation after the game.

Kitengie pointed out that Club Africain had chosen the hotel in Lubumbashi, and alleged that it had brought its own food, water and cook. ‘TPM has reacted strongly to the false and defamatory accusations of a bad loser, Club Africain of Tunisia’, read a TP Mazembe statement. 

It is understood from media reports that Club Africain is not seeking to blame TP Mazembe for any medical issues discovered, but wishes to get to the bottom of the situation in order to protect the health of its players. On 12 February, the return leg of the CAF Champions League tie will take place at the Stade Olympique de Radès in Tunisia.

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