Ibenge resigns amid SA rumours


Florent Ibenge has officially resigned as head coach of the Democratic Republic of Congo amid links with a move to South Africa.

Ibenge, 57, leaves the national team after five years in charge, in which he combined with his duties as manager of AS Vita Club in the DRC top-flight.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the ten managers that have vacated their roles since AFCON 2019

Despite the incredible task of handling both responsibilities, he led The Leopards to a third-place finish at AFCON 2015, the 2016 CHAN title and the quarter-finals of Gabon 2017.

But after a last-16 exit at the hands of Madagascar at Egypt 2019, star striker Cedric Bakambu claimed the respected coach and his technical staff should step down in order for the nation to progress once again.

And his words have seemingly hit home with Ibenge announcing his resignation on Wednesday, which coincides with talk over a possible venture to South Africa.

"I just spoke with the president. I came to tell him my desire and my decision to stop with the national team. Thank you all, " he said, as per Actualite. 
"Thanks to President Omari for picking me up in AS Vita Club to give me this position of responsibility, thanks to the leaders of Vita Club who allowed me to come in national team, President Amisi, Papa Kazadi, supporters, to the press. Thank you to my collaborators."
South Africa beckoning?
With Sundowns boss Pitso Mosimane being linked with the vacant Bafana Bafana role, Ernst Middendorp's long-term future at Kaizer Chiefs uncertain and Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojević attracting interest in North Africa - links with Ibenge are set to intensify over the coming weeks.
A source close to Vita claim that nothing has been confirmed yet but his official his resignation from the 14-time league champions appears imminent as he 'looks towards a new challenge'.
Mosimane recently came out to express his content with his role at Masandawana, while 'Micho' has reiterated his desire to help The Buccaneers win trophies this season, making imminent technical changes on either side unlikely.
However, at Naturena, Middendorp has started the season under immense pressure to deliver and even with the opening-day win, the German has yet to win the faith of the Amakhosi faithful in his second stint as head coach.
The role of South Africa head coach, a job which has recently been vacated by Stuart Baxter, could also provide an interesting proposition for the highy rated tactician given his vast experience on the continent.