[KENYA] Blow for Gor Mahia as CAF suspends key players ahead of Confederations Cup clash

KPL Champions have been dealt a major of their against New Star de Douala of Cameroon after suspended two .

Kogalo will miss the services of defenders Harun Shakava and Joash Onyango in their first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup knock-out match in Nairobi on Sunday due to disciplinary issues.

The duo has been suspended indefinitely until January 13 when their case will be discussed in a disciplinary meeting in Cairo, Egypt.

 According to CAF, the two were involved in a scuffle during a CAF Champions League second leg knock-out match against Lobi Stars in Enugu Nigeria last month, where Gor lost 2-0 to crash out of the competition on away goals.

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The CAF suspension letter states that Shakava was in involved in a physical altercation with Lobi Stars goalkeeper when he retaliated by slapping the Nigerian.

Onyango, on the other hand, was reported to have used ‘abusive language’ to the match referee.

Match referee, Tinyiko Victor from South Africa in his match report indicated that he was about to show the duo red cards before he was rescued by police following a pitch invasion by Lobi fans.

The KPL champions who have had a bad start to the season will now have to work with the available centre-backs in the form of Charles Momanyi, Pascal Ogweno and Joachim Oluoch for the crucial Sunday clash.

Shakava and Onyango are likely to face match bans along with a hefty fine.

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Shakava says he retaliated out of anger after the Nigerian keeper slapped him in the confrontation, but also insists the referee was unfair and favoured the home side in key incidents during the match.

“I am very disappointed but CAF should check the clips of the match and also take action on the referee as he was unfair to us. He denied us a clear penalty and when I questioned the decision as captain, the Lobi keeper slapped me in full view of the match official before the chaotic fans invaded the stadium,” he said.

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay said he will have to go to the drawing board and get the best pairing at the heart of defence, as they seek victory during the first-leg clash.

“We have to work with what we have right now until the case is resolved. Probably Charles Momanyi will partner Pascal Ogweno or Joachim Oluoch at the back,” Oktay said.

Gor Striker Dennis Oliech, who scored in his full debut on Wednesday during a KPL match against Posta Rangers, will not be part of the CAF team.

This is because he was not registered ahead in time but will be available for registration if the KPL Champions qualify for the group stages.

The New Star de Douala squad are expected in the country on Friday at 9.45pm and will have a practice session at the  Kasarani venue on Saturday at 4pm.

The winner of the two-legged match aggregate will proceed on to the Confederations Cup group stages.

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