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Africa Sports News of Tuesday, 6 July 2021


Ibenge: RS Berkane appoint ex-DR Congo manager

Former DR Congo boss Florent Ibenge Former DR Congo boss Florent Ibenge

Former DR Congo boss Florent Ibenge has been appointed as RS Berkane’s new permanent manager after signing a two-year contract.

The 59-year-old, who was previously coach of the Leopards, Shanghai Shenhua and Vita Club, will succeed Juan Pedro Benali in Berkane.

The Oranges Boys have now officially unveiled Ibenge at the Stade Municipal de Berkane, as they expect him to build a formidable team ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

“July 5 at the club's headquarters officially signed coach Florent Ibenge on a two-season contract,” the Moroccan club wrote on Instagram.

“The signing of the former DR Congo coach and Vita Club team came after agreeing on all the details of the contract and setting the goals he will work on during the next two seasons.”

The retired centre-back will take charge for the first time in the Botola Pro on Thursday when RS Berkane travel to Ittihad Tanger in the last game of the season.

Ibenge began his managerial career at French side ES Wasquehal in 2008 before heading to SC Douai between 2010 to 2011.

Thereafter, he was named as manager of Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in April 2012 before he was shown the way out after just one month in charge.

Shortly after his first stint with Vita Club in 2014, he was named as head coach of the DR Congo senior national team.

However, he ended his five-year reign as Leopards manager following the country’s Round of 16 exit at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Before then, he had led the country to the 2015 Afcon finals, where they finished third – their best finish in the biennial African football showpiece since 1998.

Thereafter, he returned to Vita Club for a second spell in August 2019.

After an impressive outing in the 2019-2020 campaign where they won the Caf Confederation Cup and placed third in the Moroccan elite division, RS Berkane have been struggling recently.

This season, they were unable to qualify for the knockout stage of the Confederation Cup after finishing third in Group B, where they faced JS Kabylie (Algeria), Coton Sport (Cameroon), and NAPSA Stars (Zambia).

With a game left in the Moroccan league, the Berkane-based outfit occupy the fifth position after accruing 33 points from 25 matches.