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CAF ghosts still haunting Gor Mahia after Confederation Cup exit

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | March 5th 2021
Gor Mahia players protest against the referee after losing the CAF Confederations Cup match against Napsa Stars of Zambia in Lusaka on February 21, 2021. [Jean Serge Mandela]

Gor Mahia might have bounced back to winning ways on Tuesday after visiting Mzee K’Ogalo’s grave, but they are still being haunted by the ghosts of the CAF Confederation Cup.

Though the record Kenyan champions beat Kakamega Homeboyz 2-1 in the domestic league, their management have until today (March 5) to issue a statement as requested by the Confederation of African Football on the incidents that transpired when they played Zambia’s Napsa Stars at the National Heroes Stadium on February 21.

Gor Mahia went into the match seeking to overturn the 1-0 first leg deficit in Nairobi only for them to concede a last gasp penalty that put Napsa through.

A win in Lusaka would not only earn Gor Mahia a second ticket to the lucrative group stage in less than three years but also Sh27 million.

However, it is the embarrassing events in Lusaka after the final whistle that have left two of Gor Mahia players,  captain Kenneth Muguna and goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch, in problems with the continental body.

The duo risks facing CAF’s Disciplinary Board for violating Article 11 of the Disciplinary Code after they were accused of accosting and insulting the Lesotho centre referee Lebalang Mokete.

“The officials of the above-mentioned match (Napsa Stars vs Gor Mahia) have indicated in their report that: After the match Gor Mahia players No. 29 – (Oluoch Boniface) and No. 10 (Muguna Kenneth) attacked us and used abusive language against us,” reads the Caf letter dated February 28.

“CAF has decided to implement the provisions of the Disciplinary Code in terms of Article 11 and to open investigation allowing your affiliated players to respond to the reported incident.

“Therefore, the club is required to provide us with its comments within five days namely March 5, by the latest, after which the matter will be admitted to the CAF disciplinary board.”

Even though Gor Mahia secretary general Sam Ochola says they are ready to abide by the match commissioner’s report, he has challenged the centre referee to be sincere with his claims.

“Our stand as a club is simple. We will adhere to the match commissioner’s report. We are in possession of the report and we are still going through it as we continue consulting on the way forward,” Ochola said.

“It’s not an easy matter. But I think what the referee was trying to explain in his report is a bit vague.

“How could he identify the two yet he was crowded by many people? And which language did they use to abuse him as he claims?

“I know the boys didn’t abuse the referee.”

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