On February 5, 2008, the DR Congo was a draw in the friendly against the team of France’ (0-0). On this day, Otis n’goma was on the bench congolese.
It is a day that will remain forever etched in his mind. On February 5, 2008, Valenciennes, Otis n’goma sat on the bench of the democratic Republic of the Congo to face the team of France’ of Raymond Domenech as coach, interim (0-0). For Goal, the current coach of the DCMP Imana (DRC) has dipped into the box of memories before addressing its objectives in the club. Interview.
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What memories do you keep of this match against the team of France’ ?
Otis n’goma : It was my first. I was coming out of the euphoria of the Cup of France, with an extension against the OM Ribery, Cisse, Taiwo, Beye, Niang… At first, I didn’t feel too much. When the national team came and offered me the interim, I couldn’t see what it would bring me more. Knowing that it was the team of France’, few people took this game into consideration, but months after, we have seen that we had played well against France. We were proud to have made a draw match against the future, with boys unknown at the time.
Among the players of the time, there was the Parisian Youssouf Mulumbu, but also Inherited Ilunga, for example…
We had Mulumbu, Ilunga, Cédric Mongongu (former CTAS), Larrys Mabiala, who has gone to Turkey after having played in Paris and Nice. The objective for us was to retrieve all dual nationals to not make the same mistake with Christian Benteke (Belgium), for example, and it is thanks to this game that most boys congolese have returned to the first team. It’s still a very good memory, which we all allowed to have some sort of radiation. With the benefit of hindsight, the people have understood that the national team of congolese could find well-ranked in the FIFA rankings.
From march 2016, you have left France to return to the DRC where you train the DCMP Imana, how is it going ?
It is going well. I left in march 2016, initially for three months. Then I resigné a three-year contract in August. This is my first full season. Imana is a club that has gone through many difficulties during the past eight years, a large popular club, ahead of even Mazembe in terms of audience and supporters. I arrived with the mission to restore the reputation of the club in the qualifying for the african competitions.
Precisely, where is this mission ?
It is important to know that there are three teams who are qualified, two in the Champions League and one Confederations Cup. It is four clubs for three chairs. We still have three matches to play, two of which are against our direct competitors. For the moment, it is qualifiable (1st ex-aequo with Mazembe, who has a late game, editor’s note). We’ll see where we are on July 5, after our last match against Renaissance.
Why have you decided to return to the DRC after having coached in France, Valenciennes and Cambrai in particular ?
If I’m gone in Africa, it is because I was looking for a new challenge. I went through Valenciennes several years, by Cambrai, which has eliminated the Stade de Reims of Cedric Faure and Julien Féret, who has made an extension against Marseille, and Saint-Amand, which eliminated the team of le Havre with Mahrez three years ago before he signed in England. The level is very interesting here, and contrary to what people think, there are very good clubs.
What can we wish you for the future ?
To succeed in the objective that I was assigned to, and that by the 15th of July, on my return in France, you can do again the whole point in saying that my mission is successful, that it has left an imprint and that my players are happy to have succeeded with me.
Interview by Benjamin Quarez