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Mputu Mabi ready to return for TP Mazembe and DR Congo

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BBC Sport - August 13, 2011

Tresor Mputu Mabi helped TP Mazembe to huge success before his Fifa ban put him on the sidelines for 12 months
Tresor Mputu Mabi helped TP Mazembe to huge success before his Fifa ban put him on the sidelines for 12 months
TP Mazembe striker Tresor Mputu Mabi says he is ready to return to action following the end of his one-year suspension from football.

Mabi was sanctioned by the game's world governing body Fifa after being found guilty of attacking a referee during a match at the 2010 Cecafa Club Cup.

Mabi will play his first official game for 12 months on Wednesday.

"I am glad to be back to the ground again, but I am still fit as I kept training to keep my form," he said.

"I am still the same Mputu, I never changed, and nothing can prevent me from being the same - my fans expect good things from me."

Mabi said it was hard for him to watch his club's games from the sidelines.

"I had a pinch in my heart watching my team-mates playing," he told reporters in Mazembe's home town of Lubumbashi.

"I was just encouraging them. When they were losing games it was painful for me because I hate watching TP Mazembe losing games."

Mazembe themselves were the subject of official sanctions whilst Mputu was suspended, when they were thrown out of the African Champions League after fielding an ineligible player.

Mputu Mabi will make his return to club colours on 17 August when Mazembe play Malekesa in the DR Congo Super League and later this month he will turn out for his country for the first time in more than a year.

The striker was named in the DR Congo squad for a friendly against Angola on 27 August and for the vital Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal in Dakar next month.

"We have to win our game against Senegal to hope for qualification [to the Nations Cup in 2012] - I will do my best to fight for that win," he said.

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