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Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier opens lid on Champions league disqualification

By Cecil Odongo November 7th, 2023 2 min read

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier suggests certain individuals within the club, whom he did not name, worked hard to ensure the Confederation of African Football (Caf) denied the team a chance to compete in the Champions League this season.

Gor Mahia won the league title in 2022/2023 and was all set to represent Kenya in the Caf Champions League, which is a lucrative tournament consisting of African teams that have won their respective league titles.

But alas!

Gor was disqualified from competing after a number of its former players filed a petition claiming the club owed them outstanding dues. It was the first time in the history of the competition that a team was disqualified from the competition on similar grounds.

Said Rachier: “It (the disqualification) was a very well arranged plan by people who were out to make money from players who took us to court and you know them.”

Rachier made the statement during a press briefing at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, on November 7, 2023, ahead of the launch of the team’s new bus.

Gor’s disqualification, which shocked the football family in Kenya, happened in June 2023 after the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) revoked the club’s licence over monies owed to three players who had dragged the club to Fifa over pay disputes.

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.

Rachier now says he was shocked that the issue which was handled by Fifa, football’s world governing body, was used by Caf to lock out the club from the continental competition.

“This was a Fifa issue and not a Caf issue. Even after we paid the monies within the short time we were given, we were still locked out of the competition. Some people were determined to ensure our slot was taken and missing to participate in Caf was a well-orchestrated plan by those against us.”

And in a related development, Rachier, a confessed freemason who’s served as Gor chairman for close to 15 years, fired a stern warning to auctioneers who would be used by players who have cases against the club to take the yet-to-be-unveiled bus.

The new 42-seater bus, donated to the club by the Eliud Owalo Foundation, will be officially unveiled on November 11, 2023, at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani VVIP section.

The customized Isuzu bus is registered with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) under the registration number KDN 068N.

The club has installed internet, air conditioning, and five seats for Very important persons (VIP) It is very comfortable for long-distance travel and will come in handy when honouring away assignments in Mombasa and Kisumu.

“Nobody will touch this bus. We have done everything possible to ensure that. Do not waste your time,” said Rachier.

Rachier’s comments come barely a year after former Gor Mahia defender Wellington Ochieng’ was awarded Sh1.7 million by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) in a pay dispute case involving the club.

When the Gor dragged in paying up, the player sought auctioneers to sell its bus to recover his money.

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