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CAF Confederation Cup

Relief for Gor Mahia as Ochieng and Ulimwengu released from Congo

8:59 PM IST 01/12/21
Gor Mahia striker Jules Ulimwengu scores.
The two did not travel back with the rest of the group over allegations of positive Covid-19 tests

Gor Mahia players John Ochieng and Jules Ulimwengu have been released to travel after they were isolated due to allegedly testing positive for the coronavirus in Congo.

The two were among the 16 players that travelled for the Caf Confederation Cup play-off against AS Otoho d’Oyo on November 28 before they were barred from travelling back.

"Good news! [Jules] Ulimwengu and [John] Ochieng' are on their way back to Nairobi from Congo after good efforts to have them cleared," Gor Mahia announced on Wednesday.

Read Mischief

The Football Kenya Federation Premier League side had read mischief in the development as they claimed their stars were tested by the government agency - Kenya Medical Research Institute - and all returned negative tests before they travelled to the central African nation for the first leg.

"These guys claimed that Ulimwengu and John [Ochieng] tested positive for Covid-19 just to deny them the opportunity to play," Gor Mahia's sporting director Omondi Aduda said.

"At first, the Otoho management was not ready to give us the results but they only told us, two of your players have tested positive, and we could not field them in the first leg, they were told to isolate immediately. 

"Now we have been told they must isolate for the next eight days before being released to travel back, so I have stayed back to give them support and take care of them, it means by the time the eight days elapse, we will have played the return leg in Nairobi."

Gor Mahia have to overturn the 1-0 loss suffered in order to progress to the group stage of the Confederation Cup.

They will be in action for the return leg on December 5 and this means their Premier League fixture will have to be postponed to accommodate the continental assignment.

Just like other leagues sides, K'Ogalo have not participated in any competitive domestic fixture since the FKF normalisation committee suspended the leagues and set a resumption date on the 4th and 5th of December.

Gor Mahia will entertain Vihiga Bullets, Bandari, Kakamega Homeboyz, and Nairobi City Stars before the second round begins next year.