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Benni McCarthy Reveals Shocking Mazembe Treatment

Benni McCarthy has revealed the truth about the shocking treatment his team received in Congo by TP Mazembe during the 2020-2021 CAF champions League campaign

Benni McCarthy has revealed the truth about the shocking treatment his team received in Congo by TP Mazembe during the 2020-2021 CAF confederations Cup campaign

From fixed Covid-19 tests to beating up the AmaZulu kit man, Benni McCarthy has revealed the truth about the shocking treatment his team received in Congo by TP Mazembe.

AmaZulu eliminated the five-time winners of the CAF Champions League after collecting a 1-1 draw in Congo on the weekend that saw them progress on the away goal rule.

However, McCarthy says there were points in the trip to Lubumbashi where he and the players were seriously scared because of the ill treatment they have received.

It all started with the Covid019 test for Tapelo Xoki…
“The treatment that we got was out of this world, never seen, never heard of, never done in football,” he told Thabiso Mosia on SAFMSportOn.
“Where every single player in the team was scared to go on and play and even think that if we’re winning the game, whether we’re even allowed to leave. If we will even see our families again.

“That’s how scared you feel when you go there.

“I was trying to prepare the team as best as possible as I can. I thought because it’s only AmaZulu, a team which (they think) won’t cause a thread to them, they would still be humble and be fair, because the treatment that they got when they came to South Africa, we treated them like royalty.
“We gave them everything to their disposal, they didn’t have a single problem, we put them in a beautiful hotel, the best facilities, you know. And there was never a moment where we made them feel like they should be uncomfortable or they should leave South Africa.
“And we went there it was all good, up until the day before the game when we had to do the Covid testing, and we said we’ve done two Covid tests upon arrival and prior to arriving in Congo and every single one was negative.
“The one day later you test again and one player, they identified Tapelo Xoki as a tough opponent when we played them at home already, I was asked a few questions about him and then when we go there, he tests positive. That’s when it started.

“In the morning, we had to wake up Xoki early in the morning to go back to the lab and we had to take two more tests with the lab in Congo and those tests came back negative and then we said ‘no listen, we going to launch a complaint’ because I don’t think it is right that they get to do that for them to disturb our camp with their agenda.

“So we filed a complaint and then when we arrived at the stadium and when we communicated to them they we are going to play under protest and they they say ‘on no, Xoki is fine, we don’t have a problem with him playing’. But then the player was already disturbed and I couldn’t do that to the boy, so I took him out of the team and I didn’t play him.
“Because now all of a sudden, 20 minutes before the match they said he can play, that’s how it was.”
But as if that drama around the Covid tests wasn’t enough, the ill treatment continued when parts of Mazembe’s staff tried to break into the AmaZulu dressing and steal valuables, being met by the team’s kit man and beating him and security personnel up.
“As the game was being played, a bunch of their staff members broke into our changing room and beating up the kit man and our security people,” he added.
“They wanted to confiscate some of the staff, so there was a major fight, in our dressing room, their staff members came in and wanted to take valuables out of the players bags and it was like a big tussle, a big fight.
“So that was not nice but (we said) we will show them we’re not going to be intimidated by anyone, so when we’re on that field that’s when we do the talking.
“We said ‘now we’re going to make them pay’ because we can’t let them get away with it and then they knock us out of the Champions League, so the players had extra to play for and they were just remarkable.

“So I must give a warning to Marumo Gallants, when they do go to TP Mazembe, make sure that you travel with proper, proper security.”

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