Nairobi — Gor Mahia's quest for a second consecutive appearance in the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup has received a massive blow after CAF suspended skipper Harun Shakava and defensive partner Joash Onyango ahead of this weekend's play-off.
Gor Mahia plays Cameroon's New Star de Douala in the first leg in Nairobi on Sunday but will be without the two who were suspended indefinitely following chaotic scenes that were witnessed when they lost to Nigeria's Lobi Stars in Benue, in the CAF Champions League first round last month.
While Shakava has been suspended on accusation of kicking the Lobi Stars keeper in retaliation, Onyango has been accused by the match referee's report of using abusive language towards him.
"Reports indicate that player no. 12 Joash Onyango came towards the referee at the end of the match and insulted him with abusive language." A letter sent to Gor Mahia and published on the club's website reads.
"Furthermore, the goalkeeper of Lobi Stars, John Lawrence (16) slapped player no. 18 Haron Shakava of Gor Mahia who then went to kick back the goalkeeper. The referee was about to show them red cards yet the referees were evacuated by the police due to the pitch invasion."
"Therefore, you are kindly requested to note that both Gor Mahia players no. 12 and no. 18 are provisionally suspended from taking part in CAF inter-clubs matches until the submission of the case to CAF Disciplinary board in its next meeting," the letter further stated.
The next disciplinary board meeting will be held on Sunday where more sanctions are expected to be meted on the players.
Also, Samuel Onyango, Jacques Tuyisenge, Francis Mustafa and Humphrey Mieno were all carded in the game and risk missing the return leg against New Star if they pick up booking on Sunday.
Both Shakava and Onyango were on the match day squad against Posta Rangers on Wednesday, but warmed up by themselves with the subs warming together and the starting team on the other side.
It is a huge blow for head coach Hassan Oktay who is now expected to use either of Charles Momanyi, Joachim Oluoch or Pascal Ogweno for the game on Sunday.
Ogweno was substituted after a series of blunders on Wednesday evening and was replaced by Oluoch. Momanyi played the entire game and scored Gor's first goal and this is expected to be the preferred starting partnership this Sunday.