Tragedy in Zambia - AC Virgin players drown
Twenty players from DR Congo club AC Virgin KA drowned in Luapula River in Zambia on their way from a weekend fixture.
According to the vice-commissioner of Laupula District, Aaron Mushanga, the Congolese players and their fans were returning from a match against a Zambian team on Sunday when their three boats capsized in the town’s most popular river.
“Their boats capsized in the middle of Luapula River after being hit by a strong wave generated by another passing boat,” Mushanga said.
“The ill-fated boats carried a total of over 100 people, but 80 of them were rescued by the crew while at least 20 perished,” he added.
As at Tuesday, locals were working to pull out the remains of the boats while municipal police identified other bodies.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has sent condolences to the Congo football federation.
“On behalf of FIFA and on my own behalf, I extend to you and to the Congo football federation my deepest condolences,” Blatter wrote in a message to Constant Omari Selemani, president of the FECOFA.