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Bournemouth’s Afobe named in DR Congo’s squad for AFCON 2017

Afobe puts Bournemouth ahead of Nations Cup

Bournemouth Benik Afobe of English Premier League has been named in the DR Congo’s provisional squad for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon.

The former England Under-21 international switch allegiances to DR Congo in March, but he is yet to make his debut for them.

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Afobe qualifies to play for the Leopards through his parents and he is presently one of eight England-based players in the DR Congo 31-man squad.

Others include Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba, Hull City striker Dieumerci Mbokani, Gabriel Zakuani of Northampton Town and Norwich City’s Youssouf Mulumbu.

The rest are Birmingham City midfielder Jacques Maghoma, Charlton’s Jordan Botaka and Neeskens Kebano of Fulham.

Everton winger Yannick Bolasie has been omitted following his knee injury that required an operation.

Hervé Kage, who plays for Belgian side Kortrijk, is excited with the prospect of playing in his second Nations Cup finals.

He had helped his country to third place at Equatorial Guinea in 2015.

“I’m very happy with the call-up and I hope to be in the final list to enable me give everything to make the country proud,” Kage said.

DR Congo will open their Group C campaign in Gabon against Morocco on Jan. 16.

They face defending champions Cote d’Ivoire four days later and Togo in the final group match on 24 January.

DR Congo provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Nicaise Mulopo Kudimbana (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Ley Matampi (TP Mazembe), Joel Kiassumbua (FC Wohlen, Switzerland)

Defenders: Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle, England), Gabriel Zakuani (Northampton Town, England), Issama Mpeko (Kabuscorp, Angola), Joyce Lomalisa (Vita Club), Vital N’Simba (Bourg-Péronnas, France)

Fabrice N’Sakala (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Chris Luyindama and Merveille Bope (TP Mazembe), Jordan Ikoko (Guingamp, France), Marcel Tisserand (Ingolstadt, Germany)

Midfielders: Youssouf Mulumbu (Norwich, England), Neeskens Kebano (Fulham, England), Rémy Mulumba (Ajaccio, France), Hervé Kage (Kortrijk, Belgium), Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City, England)

Paul-José M’Poku (Panathinaikos, Greece), Jonathan Bijimine (Cordoba, Spain), Wilson Kamavuaka (Panetolikos, Greece)

Forwards: Cédric Bakambu (Villarreal, Spain), Dieumerci Mbokani (Hull City, England), Benik Afobe (Bournemouth, England), Firmin Mubele Ndombe (Vita Club), Junior Kabananga (Astana, Kazakhstan)

Jordan Botaka (Charlton Athletic, England), Meschack Elia and Jonathan Bolingi (TP Mazembe), Ricky Tulengi (DCMP), Jeremy Bokila (Al-Kharitiyath, Qatar)

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