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CAF Confederation Cup

Suspension, Injury knock out Four Zesco Stars




Troubled Enugu Rangers may get a breather when they face Zambia’s Zesco United in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup play off on Sunday.

At least four regular players of Zesco United will miss the match slated for the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

According to Zambia’s Daily Mail, striker Idris Mbombo is ruled out on account of accumulating two yellow cards in the competition.

Three other players are ruled out owing to injuries. They are striker Jackson Mwanza and midfielders: Misheck Chaila and Simon Silwimba.


The suspended Mbombo scored five of the goals in last year’s CAF Champions League in which Zesco got to the semi final stage.

He will however be available in the return leg in Ndola.

Zambia Daily Mail quoting the Serbian coach of the club, Zlatko Krmpotic, to be lamenting the absence of the four players who ordinarily, would have been in the starting line-up.

“But this is football and we need to prepare other players to play in Nigeria. It is a very important game for us in Nigeria,” Krmpotic said.
He said Zesco will not look down on Enugu Rangers. “This is a footballing country (Nigeria); Enugu is a good team, champions of Nigeria. We must go there with respect but I think Zesco have a chance to go into the group phase. Every game we go to win but this is football,” Krmpotic said.
Mwanza was injured during last Thursday’s Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield semi-final 4-2 win over Power Dynamos in Kitwe.
Defensive midfielder Misheck Chaila sustained an injury on national team duty while Silwimba limped off in the Confederation Cup first round first leg against Burundian side Le Messager Ngozi.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football has appointed Senegalese referee Issa Sy to officiate the Enugu versus Zesco match.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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