Norwich City striker Dieumerci Mbokani has retired from international football due to ‘unfair treatment’
PUBLISHED: 17:31 05 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:19 06 April 2016
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The international future of Norwich City striker Dieumerci Mbokani looks to be in doubt, with media reports claiming the powerful front-man will no longer represent the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The 30-year-old is on a season-long loan from Dinamo Kiev and scored his fifth goal of the season during an impressive performance which helped the Canaries to a crucial 3-2 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
That powerful display followed a concerning international break for the forward which saw him caught up in the recent terror attacks in Belgium.
The former Anderlecht striker revealed he owed his life to his wife’s decision to delay their arrival to Zaventem airport in Brussels, which was the scene for one of two bombings that killed 31 people and injured hundreds more on Tuesday, March 22.
Fortunately he was unharmed and looked set to continue on his journey to play for DR of Congo in two African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Angola.
However, renowned French sports newspaper L’Equipe have since reported that Mbokani asked for a few days to rest following the ‘trauma’ of being so close to the tragedy.
He reportedly told radio station Top Congo FM that he had spoken with national team coordinator Theo Binamungu but was then never called back to discuss the difficult situation.
Subsequently it is claimed that Congolese Football Federation president Constant Omari Selemani had threatened ‘sanctions’ for the player for failing to report for international duty.
Mbokani is quoted as saying: “I have had problems with the Federation all the time. This is the reason why I decided to stop with the national team.
“I do not want to play for Congo. I believe I was given unfair treatment. Therefore, after a discussion with my family, my relatives, I decided to stop.”
The striker, who has an impressive record of 16 goals in 31 games for his country, missed a 2-1 home win and 2-0 away victory in Group B.
City boss Alex Neil has previously spoken of a deal already being in place for Mbokani to sign permanently at the end of the season, if the player and club wish to proceed, and hailed the player’s contribution against Newcastle.
“His goal was magnificent and to be honest I thought his performance was magnificent,” said Neil. “He led the line, I thought he bullied the two centre-backs and he has been really special for us in the last two games.
“When I spoke to him during the week I stressed whatever goes on in your personal life away from the field you always have football to fall back on. That is a release so just go out and enjoy the game, play, do what you do and I thought he was great. To be honest I thought on Dieu’s goal you couldn’t defend that, he just shifted it inside and put it in the top corner.”