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Bournemouth Player Missed International Debut Because FA Sent Details To The Wrong Country

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Bournemouth's Benik Afobe was looking forward to representing the country of his parents in a recent World Cup qualifier.

The 23 year old, who represented the country of his birth - that would be England - at U21 level, qualifies to play for DR Congo at international level.

He hoped to make his debut against Guinea in this month's WC qualifier.

The FA's only job, in this instance, to pass on the relevant and necessary paperwork confirming Afobe's eligibility to the country in question.

Unfortunately, they committed an error of Willie Frazer-esque proportions.


Afobe told BBC Radio what went wrong.

Basically, the FA sent my paperwork to the wrong Congo.

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.

Yes, the Football Association sent the player's documentation, not to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but instead to the Republic of the Congo.

These countries are not to be confused with each other. The Republic of the Congo, usually simply referred to as the Congo, is a small country in Central Africa of 4.6 million people which rubs up against the Atlantic Ocean.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, or simply DR Congo, is a much bigger slab of a country to its east, which boasts a population of 81 million people.


Alas, in this instance, they were confused with one another.

It's easy to sympathise with the Football Association of Ireland at times like this. Had they committed a faux pas of this magnititude, we would likely never hear the end of it. Half the country would have fallen around the place laughing while the other half would have linked to the farce to John Delaney's salary.

Read more: Stephen Kenny Says There's No Comparison Between What Dundalk And Leicester Have Achieved

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