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FIFA lifts player transfer ban on DRC's Motema Pembe

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Patrice Citera

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The development is a sigh of relief for Motema Pembe who were kept out of the transfer market for nearly three years. 

FIFA had authorized the sanctions after three foreign players and a coach successfully accused the club of non-payment of their contractual wages.

The decision will also boost the club's chances in challenging for Congolese national league and the CAF confederation cup.

"The sanctions had demoralized the whole team: the players, the supporters ... Our morale was at its lowest. The lifting of these sanctions by Fifa will change many things, the Club will see the arrival of new blood," said Ngangu Lukokisa, a club official.

In total, 9 expatriate players at Pembe, including Cameroonian Paul Ndjock and Mali's Ousmane Sangare, have filed non-payment complaints, costing the club some $100,000 in fines. 

The FIFA sanctions had kept the 1996 African champions League winners from hiring both local and international players.

While foreign players were able to benefit from FIFA's intervention, the same cannot be said for their Congolese colleagues. 90% of the disputes remain unresolved by FECOFA, Congo's football governing body.

DC Motema Pembe is the third Congolese club to be sanctioned by Fifa in three years, following the non-payment of the remuneration of players and coaches.

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