FIFA says it is deeply concerned about recent photos on the social media of the Congolese women’s under-20 team.
The soccer federation FIFPRO has uploaded video footage of the team’s training ahead of the Under-20 World Cup qualifiers.
FIFPRO says the video, which it posted on its official Twitter page on Thursday, shows that the team is making a habit of passing on a dirt road with cars and motorcycles passing by. At one point, the drill is interrupted as a yellow van pulls down the road between the players.
“The welfare of the players is a priority for FIFA and we have taken immediate action with the country’s authorities, including FECOFA [Congress of the Football Association of Football], to ensure the safety and well-being of all players involved,” FIFA said in a statement sent to CNN.
FIFPRO says FECOFA has not set enough time for the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cameroon on September 25, which they lost 4-0 at home.
African women’s soccer players face the challenge of playing ‘man’s game’
A video posted by FIFPRO shows women sleeping outside in their suits. FIFPRO says they were evicted from their hotel on October 12, by a players’ union claiming that the Congolese FA had not paid.
“This is unacceptable,” FIFPRO wrote at the end of the video, in which he said in a statement taken by a member of the public.
The management of women’s soccer players in Africa, especially financially, has long been a problem on the continent.
The Congolese FA (FECOFA) has not responded to numerous CNN comment requests in the past few days. CNN could not verify the content of the video.
“The Congolese players’ union is in contact with the players. They are OK and have now returned to their homes, if they are upset by their horrific treatment by the national organization,” FIFPRO said in a statement sent to CNN.
“The union has also written a letter of complaint about their treatment to the Congolese FA,” the statement said.
Asked to comment, the continent’s governing body – the Confederation of African Football – has directed CNN to FECOFA and the world governing body FIFA.
The Under-20 Women’s World Cup is expected to take place in Costa Rica next year after being postponed from 2020.
DR Congo lost their return match against Cameroon 5-0, meaning the last one will now face Nigeria in the next round.