Florent Ibenge explains DR Congo's Cedric Bakambu omission

Florent Ibenge ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images

Cedric Bakambu isn't part of the Democratic Republic of Congo squad to face Liberia in next month's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier due to administrative reasons, according to coach Florent Ibenge.

Despite an excellent season with Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League, Bakambu was the headline omission from the Leopards squad released on Monday.

"I called up him but he doesn't have a passport," Ibenge told KweséESPN. "As we're not going via [Congolese capital] Kinshasa, he can't be cleared administratively."

Bakambu netted twice during the DRC's opening qualifying victory over rivals Congo-Brazzaville in June 2017, and also has 13 goals in 15 CSL appearances this term.

The 27-year-old was left out of Ibenge's squad along with Gael Kakuta of Amiens, while Marcel Tisserand and Chancel Mbemba both miss out due to injury.

Regardless of Bakambu's absence, Ibenge has a series of talented offensive options, with Firmin Mubele, Junior Kabananga, Benik Afobe and Brett Assombalonga among his attacking options.

Yannick Bolasie will also join the squad after completing his loan move from Everton to Aston Villa.

The Leopards face Liberia away on September 9 as they look to keep the pressure on Group G leaders Zimbabwe.