Sunday 25 February 2018

Benik Afobe missed chance to make international debut because FA sent the paperwork to 'the wrong Congo'

Benik Afobe
Benik Afobe
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe reported for international duty but was ineligible to play after an embarrassing blunder from the FA.

The 23-year-old, who represented England at under-21 level, has opted to play with the Democratic Republic of Congo which is the country of birth for both his parents.

He was called up for the DR Congo's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Guinea this month which they won 2-1 away to sit joint-top of their group alongisde Tunisia.

He had been expected to make his debut but for a glaring error on the FA's part.

"Basically, the FA sent my paperwork to the wrong Congo," he told BBC Radio.

"Transferring it took about 10 days and once Fifa had cleared their workload with all the internationals on around the world, it was the day after the World Cup qualifier against Guinea.

"But, in order for me to get used to the squad and the conditions, it was worth making the trip and the team won 2-1.

"I was disappointed not to play at the time, but the main thing is returning to the club injury-free."

The documentation was sent to the Republic of the Congo instead of DR Congo.

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