Two key Gor Mahia Players Detained in DR Congo
Two Gor Mahia players are being detained in the Republic of Congo after testing positive for Covid-19.
Burundian striker Jules Ulimwengu and combative midfielder John Ochieng' didn't feature in Sunday's 1-0 loss to AS Otoho d'Oyo in the first leg of their Caf Confederation Cup play-offs after testing positive.
Roland Okouri's 63rd minute strike was enough to give the hosts a win at the Alphonse Massemba-Debat Stadium in Brazzaville.
Ulimwengu and Ochieng' are set to be detained in the Central African nation for the next eight days, meaning they are likely to miss the second leg on Saturday at Nyayo National Stadium.
However, K'Ogalo have disputed the results saying the duo alongside other players tested negative for the virus before they left for Congo last Friday.
While the rest of the travelling party jetted back from Brazzaville on Monday evening, Gor Mahia's Sporting Director Lordvick Aduda remained in Brazzaville to resolve the matter with the Congolese government.
"I'm still in Congo trying to sort out this situation. It is unfortunate, but hopefully we can get a solution to the matter," he told Nation Sport Tuesday.
"There is no Kenyan embassy here, but I'm continuing to follow up so that this issue can be sorted," he added.
Apart from the detaining of the two players, Gor Mahia also complained of harassment from their opponents.
An agitated K'Ogalo coach Mark Harrison accused their hosts of unsporting behaviour and cast doubts on the validity of the coronavirus tests.
"It was a very bad show and the frustrations we underwent is not good for football. I think you saw the videos of unsporting behaviour which I think shouldn't be tolerated in football. It is the first time I'm seeing such tactics being used to win the game," said Harrison.
"Detaining Ulimwengu and Ochieng' is just a ploy to ensure they are not available for the second leg. We did our test here and no positive results came out. In Congo before the match we even requested our hosts to conduct the tests again at our own costs, but they refused," he added.
With a lean squad of only 15 players, Gor also suffered a set back after right back Philemon Otieno sustained an injury on the eve of the game, while Sydney Ochieng' had only just returned from injury.
That meant Harrison had only reserve custodian Caleb Omondi in the bench and could not make any changes throughout the game.
The second leg is due on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium with the winner advancing to the group stages.
Kenya's other representative in the competition, Tusker, will play Tunisia's CS Sfaxien on the same day after the sides drew 0-0 in the first leg at Nyayo Stadium last Sunday.