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Anger, frustration as Gor Mahia misses out on Caf Champions League

Gor Mahia fans and legends are a gutted lot after the team was locked out of the 2023/24 Caf Champions League draw slated for Tuesday in Cairo. The K’Ogalo fraternity is blaming the club management for this unsettling turn of events.

This after Caf on Sunday posted a list of 54 clubs which will be taking part in the draw, with KOgalo conspicuously absent. This means Kenya will not have a team in the prestigious competition in the coming season.

On the other hand, Kakamega Homeboyz remains the only team which will take part in the Caf competitions after making the list of the second tier continental tournament Caf Confederation Cup.

Gor Mahia were dealt a huge blow on Thursday after Football Kenya Federation revoked their Club Licence for debts owed to three former players who had raised the issue with Caf.

The monies were owed to Congolese forward Sando Sando Yangay, Malian goalkeeper Adama Keita and Burundian attacker Jules Ulimwengu. Sando was owed Sh2.27 million, Keita, Sh4.3 million and Ulimwengu Sh1.1 million

Also read: Gor Mahia locked out of Caf Champions League draw

According to the federation, Gor Mahia failed to remit the monies owed to the trio in time and didn’t draft a player-club agreement on how they would have been paid by Thursday’s 4pm deadline as instructed by Caf.

News of the club being locked out of the continental competition has Gor Mahia fans and former players. Club legend Allan Thigo has blamed the club top leadership for failing to strike a deal early enough with the players to avert the situation.

“Where was the management? I played for Gor Mahia and was at some point in the technical bench, yet the club owes me money to date only that I left the issue. The foreign players had a right to get their money. Recently, the club bus was taken away due to debts owed to a player. What was done about it? If this is the trend then nothing will change,” said Thigo.

Also read: Exclusive – AFC Leopards sweating over coach Aussems’ Sh20m debt, transfer ban

In the social media platforms Gor Mahia fans vented their frustarion with the club, some blaming agents who bring foreign players who they claim make the club suffer without any meaningful contribution on the pitch.

“These scandals are now catching up with Gor Mahia officials and their fake agents. Signing ordinary players with huge sign-on fees and receiving kickbacks from players,” Felix Odhiambo said on Facebook.

Others blamed FKF for witch-hunt, saying instead of revoking Gor Mahia’s club licence, the federation should have picked up the issue with Caf, Fifa and the club.

“The way the federation was quick to dismiss Gor Mahia’s appeal was insincere and showed they had a hidden agenda. This was an issue which could have been sorted out, but it seems FKF has a vendetta against the club,” said Nick Okello, a sports commentator and a Gor Mahia fan.

K’Ogalo players had resumed training on July 21 as part of the preparation for the competitions which they were coming back to after two seasons in the cold. Kenya has been represented in the Caf Champions League in the past two seasons by former champions, Tusker.

Also read: Gor Mahia to host TP Mazembe, Rayon Sports, Vipers in pre-season friendlies