Cedric Bakambu appears to denounce Ibenge claims with passport tweet
Cedric Bakambu posted a cryptic tweet on Wednesday that appeared to denounce Florent Ibenge's explanation for the hitman's absence from the Democratic Republic of Congo squad ahead of next month's international break.
Beijin Guoan forward Bakambu was a surprise omission from the Leopards squad that will take on Liberia in their second Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on September 9.
When questioned by KweséESPN on Tuesday, DRC coach Ibenge explained that Bakambu's was due to him not having a passport, meaning that the player couldn't be administratively cleared to travel.
"I called up him but he doesn't have a passport," Ibenge began. "As we're not going via [Congolese capital] Kinshasa, he can't be cleared administratively."
However, the 27-year-old forward appears to have denounced the AS Vita Club coach's explanation of events by tweeting a photo of his own passport on Twitter on Wednesday.
If Bakambu is in possession of his passport, it remains to be seen why he wasn't included in the coach's 26-man squad, and raises the possibility that he could yet feature for the Central African heavyweights next month.
The former Villarreal man netted twice during the DRC's opening qualifying victory over rivals Congo-Brazzaville in June 2017, and has 13 goals in 15 CSL appearances this term.
He misses out on the Liberia game along with Gael Kakuta of Amiens, while Marcel Tisserand and Chancel Mbemba are both absent due to injury.
Ibenge can call upon Firmin Mubele, Junior Kabananga, Benik Afobe and Brett Assombalonga as his offensive options, while Aston Villa new boy Yannick Bolasie has also been included.
The Leopards face Liberia away on September 9 as they look to keep the pressure on Group G leaders Zimbabwe.
KweséESPN have approached both Ibenge and Bakambu for further comment.