Football Kenya Federation has written to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to protest against poor officiating in Sunday’s CAF Confederation Cup Group ‘D’ match between hosts NA Hussein Dey of Algeria and Gor Mahia in which K’Ogalo were seemingly denied a clear goal.
According to Gor Mahia deputy secretary general Ronald Ngala, the FKF representative wrote a protest note to the continental soccer body against the Malian referee’s decision to disallow Shafique Batambuze’s header which could have earned Gor Mahia a draw to keep them at the helm of Group ‘D’.
“FKF has already written to CAF even though we know the outcome of the match will not be changed. All we want CAF to know is our displeasure on the way their referee of choice discriminated against our boys,’’explained Ngala.
The Ugandan defender slotted in a smart header from a Francis Kahata’s corner with NA Hussein Dey Cameroonian import Landry Ntankeu infringing on his own goalkeeper but the referee yellow carded Tuyisenge instead and disallowed the goal.
After the controversial loss, the Kenyan giants are now second in Group ‘D’ with NA Hussein Dey topping the group on 7 points . Zamalek’s first narrow win in the group stage away in Angola has them at 5 points as they leapt to position three courtesy of a 1-0 win over Angola’s Petro Atletico who are trailing at the bottom on 4 points.
In yesterday’s match, the Malian referee Boubou Traore flashed five yellow cards on Gor Mahia players with Nicholas Kipkirui, Tuyisenge and Samwel Onyango being the early culprits while Francis Mustapha was yellow carded at half time on the reserve bench for complaining to the first assistant referee Baba Yombolba.
Gor Mahia players learnt about Mustapha’s booking in the locker room since as a reserve player, he did not go to the dressing room immediately at half time.
Meanwhile Gor Mahia team manager Jolawi Obondo has said the kind of officiating witnessed in Algeria will kill African football.
The seemingly agitated team manager claimed the match first assistant referees had started running towards the centre lane after Batambuze’s header, an indication of a restart but the referee thought otherwise.
‘”We are now focussed on our remaining two matches against Zamalek and Petro Atletico. We need at least a draw away in Egypt and maximum points at home against Petro Atletico. We are still on course,’’ said Jolawi.
Gor Mahia leaves Algiers at 4pm today (Kenyan time) for Cairo where they will connect to Alexandria tomorrow. They will pitch camp in Alexandria until Sunday when they play their next opponents Zamalek.
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