Mamelodi Sundowns captain and midfielder Hlompho Kekana served a four-match ban after the Confederation of African Football (Caf) slapped him with misconduct charge for shoving a referee but team officials kept the news under wraps fearing media backlash.
The player was sent to an early shower after pushing the referee in a Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg 2-1 away defeat against AS Otoho of Congo Brazzaville in August.
The incident leading to the sending off and the ban is captured in a video below:
Sundowns managed to keep the news of his ban away from the media and the public rebuffing contrary claims that coach Pitso Mosimane was resting the 34-year-old yet he was actually quietly serving his punishment.
Sundowns acting general manager Yogesh Singh confirmed the news.
“Yes I can confirm that Hlompho Kekana was handed with a four-match ban during our match in Brazaville in the Congo in August‚” Singh said on Wednesday.
Kekana also missed out on the one-sided two-legged 16-1 aggregate win over Cote d’Or of the Seychelles and served the last match of his ban in the trouble-free 3-0 win over Angolan outfit Petro de Luanda at Loftus in the first match of the Champions League group stages at the weekend.
Kekana was part of the Sundowns squad that flew out to Morocco on Monday for their titanic Champions League clash against nemesis Wydad Casablanca as Pitso Mosimane aims to claim his first victory in Casablanca.
By Gerald Dandah