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Mazembe is back to entertain crowd.

band, supporters will arrive tomorrow

Abu Dhabi If you are a neutral fan and happen to be at the Fifa Club World Cup when African club champions TP Mazembe play, then try and stay as close as possible to the supporters of 'The Crows.'

Last year, the supporters of Mazembe put up their own side show and apart from Lionel Messi's magic on the pitch the standout performance on the stands during the tournament was by the 100-plus Mazembe band of supporters.

"They will be back. The 50-strong band 'Cent per Cent' will be arriving here tomorrow, along with them will be another hundred supporters," said Eddy Kabelu, Media Spokesperson of the African club in an exclusive interview with Gulf News during the team's training session yesterday.

"The band has always been part of the team and travel everywhere the team plays. Our club chairman Moses Katumbi Chapwe foots the entire bill of the band, the supporters, their visas, hotel everything," he said.

The 46-year-old Katumbi is the Governor of the Katanga Province in the south of Congo and the club is based in the provincial capital Lubumbashi.

Footing bill

"Katumbi is very passionate about football and the club and was also coach of the team at a young age. In fact we arrived here in Abu Dhabi four days back on the chairman's cost and only yesterday we moved in to the team hotel," Kabelu said.

"Almost 90 per cent of people in Lubumbashi are Mazembe fans while in Congo itself over 60 per cent back the club. The club has given the Congolese peoples a lot of pride after winning the CAF Champion's League both in 2009 and 2010," he said.

"Mazembe has given Congo football a lot of joy. In fact Congo was the first African country to play in the World Cup in 1974 after winning the African Nations Cup. That was the best display by the national team.

"Now it is Mazembe which has been making its presence felt," Kabelu said.

African football is known for some intricate skills by individual players and with the sound, colour and music of the supporters, TP Mazembe are keen to make their presence felt in Abu Dhabi over the next fortnight.


People's choice

Members of the TP Mazembe Football Club training at the Al Dhafra ground yesterday. The Congo club is extremely popular at home and more so after winning the CAF Champion's League in 2009 and 2010.


Preparing for showpiece

Head coach Lamine N'Diaye of TP Mazembe during the training session at the Al Dhafra training ground yesterday.

The band has always been part of the team. Our club chairman Moses Katumbi Chapwe foots the entire bill of the band, the supporters, their visas, hotel everything."

Eddy Kabelu

Spokesperson of TP Mazembe

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Dec 7, 2010
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