Football in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Josip Katalinski at World Cup 1974 against Zaire.
Governing bodyCongolese Association Football Federation
National team(s)men's national team
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

Football is the most popular sport played in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The national football team has won the African Cup of Nations twice: in 1968 and 1974 under the nations' former name Zaire.[1] The national team qualified for the World Cup in 1974, their only appearance in that tournament.[2][3]

Domestic football

At club level, in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, TP Mazembe made history as the first ever African club to reach a FIFA tournament final, beating the 2010 Copa Libertadores champions SC Internacional in the semifinals and losing to European Champions Internazionale in the final.[4][5][6][7]

International football

Although DR Congo has had limited international success since the late 1970s, numerous players of Congolese descent have played professionally in Europe, including Romelu Lukaku, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jonathan Ikoné, Michy Batshuayi, Youri Tielemans, Steve Mandanda, Tanguy Ndombele, Christian Benteke, Elio Capradossi, Sara Gama, Axel Tuanzebe, Isaac Kiese Thelin, José Bosingwa and Denis Zakaria.

In international competitions, DR Congo has only qualified for three FIFA tournaments, the 1974 FIFA World Cup for the senior men's side, and the 2006 and 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cups, achieved by the U-20 women's side.

+50,000-capacity football stadiums

# Stadium Location Capacity Home Team(s) Notes
1 Stade des Martyrs[8] Kinshasa 80,000 National team
2 Stade Tata Raphaël Kinshasa 50,000 DC Motema Pembe, AS Vita Club

See also


  1. ^ Ginnell, Luke (January 12, 2017). "The rebirth of a footballing nation: how Congolese football is once again among Africa's best".
  2. ^ Rhoden, William C. (10 June 2010). "Africa Honors Its Soccer Past and Looks Forward". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  3. ^ Merrill, Austin (9 April 2010). "Zaire, the Leopards, and the 1974 World Cup". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  4. ^ "TP Mazembe beat Pachuca at the Club World Cup". BBC Sport. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  5. ^ "Inter stunned as Mazembe reach final". Archived from the original on December 17, 2010. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  6. ^ "TP Mazembe 0 - 3 Internazionale". ESPN Soccernet. 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  7. ^ "TP Mazembe vs FC Internazionale Preview". 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  8. ^ Photos at Retrieved 23 February 2022

Further reading