Both sides confident ahead of derby

Which set of Fans will celebrate ?

According to Supersport, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier is supremely confident that his side will repeat their performance from 2 months ago and beat arch rivals AFC leopards.

 Said Rachier

“Some people might want to write off K’Ogalo following a few isolated episodes but I can confirm to you that Gor Mahia is still the team to beat and its will not be easy for our arch rivals AFC Leopards,” Rachier told

“You can only write us off at your own peril since I am confident we will beat them agin just like it happened in the first leg. The game will be a battle of the titans where the toughest shall emerge victorious.”

“I appeal to our fans to turn out in large numbers, give undivided support to our team and remember that they have always made us proud despite a few hiccups. The players and technical bench are well motivated and I believe come Sunday everybody will be laughing after victory.”

Meanwhile AFC Leopards tactician Jan Koops has also expressed confidence that his team will avenge the loss they suffered during his debut.

“The team is now in high spirits and everybody is geared towards winning the match. All along, finishing has been our major problem but since Mike Barasa and Charles Okwemba joined the team in the second leg, we are now scoring goals.”

“I’m happy with the way my strikers are responding in training sessions and I’m sure if they perfect this during our match against Gor Mahia, we shall definitely come out winners,” said the Dutchman. “The approach will be very simple, force them to make mistakes and capitalize on them. Since we are at home, I know our fans will be expecting a lot from us and the tie will determine our destiny in the league.”


Zico says KPL is unpatriotic

KENYA tactician Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno has taken a swipe at the Kenya Premier League (KPL) accusing its officials of being “unpatriotic” for refusing to adjust league fixtures to accommodate Nations Cup preparations.

“What they are doing is wrong. Why are they having these fixtures when they know we have a very crucial match? It is the last match that we have to prepare for well and win and we need all the support that we can get,” said Otieno.

This followed KPL’s refusal to reschedule three matches this week: Mathare v Congo United, Sofapaka v Bandari and Gor Mahia v AFC Leopards.

Otieno, who has been under fire from both his club duties at Gor Mahia and the national team, will have to endure another tormenting moment when his side takes on rivals AFC Leopards in a local derby on Sunday.

(Courtesy of the New Vision)

Rachier and officials are slowly undoing 3 years of progress

Ambrose Rachier has been going around telling everyone who will listen how he rescued this club from near oblivion to the great heights it has scaled recently. Indeed this very blog has praised Mr. Rachier as a breath of fresh air compared to the dark days of Erastus Okul when the club was relegated twice and looked like it might go extinct.

That being said, leaders are judged based on what kind of leadership they provide during a crisis. A good ship captain is one who is able to steer his ship to safety in stormy waters. An excellent ship captain is one who is able to foresee coming storms and steer his ship to safety, away from the storm. Rachier has fallen flat on both counts.

The club is currently going through a string of bad results. The play has been extremely poor for a long time. Before beating arch rivals AFC leopards 3-1, the club was playing poorly yet posting a series of lucky wins. Fans expressed dismay at the dissapearance of the flowing football that the Kenyan public had come to associate with Kogalo. But the results after the AFC match are what has sent fans into a panic. Teams that are battling relegation and are full of unknown players are easily handling Kogalo which is stacked with national team players. With seven matches left, Gor Mahia has all but thrown its chances of winning the league into the dustbin. Player morale appears low. Fans are dejected. And worse still, so called club security has turned on fans, beating them with whips.

While all this is going on, Rachier has shown very little leadership. He is living on past laurels. As the club burns, Rachier is busy talking up his past record. No respectable club keeps a coach after a long string of poor results. The reason for this is simple. Coaches who stay at a club for a long time almost always run out of ideas when other teams figure out how to stop them. It is at this point that a club must make a coaching change. Some clubs do not even wait long. Inter Milan recently fired their new coach after 5 games.

When a club is seen to be unresponsive to the fans, the fans usually react by staying away from games. This has already started to happen. Once the green army dissappears, the sponsors will see no reason to stay with the club and will folllow suit. A club that is not winning, has few fans and is mostly associated with hooliganism is toxic to sponsors. And the fan anger and resulting hooliganism will continue unless something is done. And worse still, the club cannot survive without fan support. Even with sponsorship, Kogalo is highly dependent on gate proceeds.

Don’t take the green army for granted

Fans of Kenyan football who are watching the KFF/FKL elections closely are observing Rachier’s lack of leadership and wondering if he will act the same way as KFF chairman. What if the national team coach is under-performing. Will Rachier stick to his guns and keep the coach. Will he show this kind of indecisiveness. It is only recently that Harambee stars fans had to endure Antoine Hey and his incompetence. They will not be keen to go through another such episode.

Other teams have made coaching changes and are now reaping the benefits. You need not look further than arch rivals AFC Leopards for an example.

Further to that, Mr. Rachier must come forward and shed light on all the rumours surrounding the club. These stories reflect poorly on the club and must be immediately addressed. Key players who feel slighted might start to leave for rival clubs. Others might leave to escape the attendant stone throwing that occurs during a string of poor results.

Rachier must not sit back and assume that he single-handedly rebuilt the club. Fans played a pivotal role as well by organizing themselves using online forums, social media, in bars and other areas to rally behind the team. They deserve as much credit as anybody for the revival in fortunes of the club. And dont forget the efforts of other officials most notably James Sianga who built a young team that started the clubs rennaisance. The capital that Kogalo has built over the past 3 years should not be wasted.

Some Players support Coach Zico

According to a story by supersport, many Kogalo players are rallying behind Coach Zico who of late has been beseiged by angry fans.

Skipper Jerim Onyango says the players have full confidence in coach Zedekiah Otieno despite calls by fans for him to resign from his post.

Onyango who was harassed by a section of fans who claimed that he had conceded an easy goal against KCB has urged for calm from fans and reflection in both the good and bad times the team has undergone.

“I want to categorically say that the whole playing unit has full confidence in the coach and the results in the past few matches must not be used to judge us harshly,” skipper Onyango told

“Personally I was not happy on Saturday after some fans turned their attention from the coach and accused me of conceding easy goals. I feel it is important for our fans not to forget the times we made them happy with good results and they should remember that in football a team can have rough patches and K’Ogalo cannot be an exception.”

“We want to continue working hard under coach Otieno since has helped steer the team to greater heights and its unfair to heap all the blame on him. We realize what the fans are feeling and we will do our best to rectify the problems but they should continue supporting us as usual,” he added.

(Reporting courtesy of supersport)

Nevertheless it is difficutt to tell if Jerim is expressing the sentiments of all players or even most of the players. It is unlikely that any player will step forward and critisize the coach.

Zico started to come under fire as far back as 3 months ago when the play of the team started to decline. Despite the fact that Kogalo were winning, the margins were narrow and fans deduced that the team was lucky. Teams seem to have figured out how to stop Kogalo. Zico for his part has displayed a “difficult eye” and has refused to step down despite being besieged by fans.

Kogalo held by KCB

Gor Mahia gave away two easy goals at the end to gift KCB a crucial point in a Kenya Premier League match played at Nyayo stadium on Saturday. Collins Okoth scored the match opener from the penalty spot after Wycliff Ochomo was fouled in the penalty box. Okoth was at it again in the 55th minute, this time setting up Eric Masika for Kogalo’s second goal. KCB protested the goal to no avail. Defensive lapses gifted KCB two goals much to the chagrin of Kogalo fans.

The match was poorly attended when compared to recent matches. The reason is likely because the club leadership has turned a deaf year to the fans pleas for changes in the technical bench. The fans who attended reacted by pelting the technical bench with foreign objects. A sad day indeed for Kogalo as KCB were going through a loosing streak of their own. It comes at a time when Gor Mahia’s rivals are going through a good run of form.

Technical Bench reprimanded

In a report by Supersport Gor Mahia’s technical bench has been given three matches to turn around the team’s fortunes.  The club’s National Executive Committee issued the ultimatum after a five hour meeting chaired by Chairman Ambrose Rachier at the club’s Nyayo National office on Tuesday evening.

Organizing Secretary Tom Ataro and deputy secretary general Ronald Ngala told that the executive committee will meet the players at Nairobi City Stadium on Wednesday to get their side of the story.

“We want to talk to the players and get the true picture .We want to share with them whatever problem they have and see how best we can address them. We have reached a critical stage with seven matches remaining and we must take all issues affecting the playing unit seriously.”

Ngala confirmed that the technical bench will remain intact adding that no major decisions were arrived, “The League is now in the home-stretch and therefore we did not make any major decisions or make any changes in the technical bench since we don’t want to interfere with the playing unit.”

The club officials have also been summoned to appear on Thursday before Kenya Premier League (KPL) disciplinary organ to show cause why action should not taken against them after their fans were involved with ugly scenes during their stormy match against Congo United.

How Ataro and Rachier who appear to be bitter enemies can co-exist in the same committee is mystery.

The news will be bad news for Kogalo fans who have been asking for a change in the technical bench. How many more poor performances must the club endure. It must be noted that even prior to the current poor form, the team had not been playing well.

Awilo accosted by Fans

Star Africa reports that captain and long serving defender, Julius Owino “Awilo” , was attacked by fans at the clubs training ground at Moi Forces academy and escaped narrowly

The ‘hooligans” whom Awilo claimed they are familiar attacked him accusing him of bringing ‘bad omen” to the team whenever he travels to upcountry.

Awilo was saved by the club team Cameroonian born Assistant coach  Anaba Awono and team Doctor Sam Ogutu who shielded him from further punishment.

Awilo said on phone that he has always remained faithful to the club adding that his accusers should know that he is among the least paid players in the club and has never complained since he loves the club.

“They accused me, added Awilo, for fictitious issues that does not exist in my mind.I have never gone behind the club to do anything harmful to the team. My life has centred on this great and glamour team.I fail to understand why I should be blamed for the team’s dismal performance. Before I went to upcountry, I even informed the club management including our chairman Ambrose Rachier. It pains me that during my absence,I am blamed for the team’s  debacle.’ noted Awilo.

‘I’m the most affected  player,added Awilo, when  the team loose a match.I sacrifice a lot for the club.I have remained loyal  to the team.I’m deeply affected by the recent action since I don’t know  what will happen  to me tomorrow’ said he.

 Awilo who is perhaps the longest serving player in the team said he never reported the matter to the police since there are proper mechanism to follow in the club. “I have informed the club management about the incident so that they can follow it up.I know some of the scouts who attacked me and truly, I believe the truth will come out’ Observed Awilo.

 The team’s latest performance has raised eyebrows .The club technical bench led by head coach Zedekiah:”Zico’Otieno has been summoned to appear before the club’s executive on Tuesday September 20 to explain the team’s poor performance.

This sad episode is in poor taste for a player like Awilo who has shown great loyalty to the club and played for the club when it was in the doldrums.

Rachier lauds his role in rebuilding Kogalo

Chairman Ambrose Rachier who is running for the position of FKL chairman talked up his record in rebuilding the club from the moribund state it was under Erastus Okul to its current far improved situation.

“I have been involved in football since 2002 when I was a consultant in the Fifa normalisation committee and my input brought a number of football reforms. I have also been at Gor Mahia for four years and with the support of my team, the difference is clearly being seen at the club now.

At least I am leading a club of Gor’s magnitude and believe that I’m better off than people claiming that leading a club is different from leading a federation. None of the other contestants lead a serious club if they have any,” said Rachier.

He said: “When I was elected Gor Mahia chairman four years ago, the team was languishing in position 16 of the table and they have improved to runners-up position last season. We have drastically improved the gate collections as it never used to go beyond Sh8,000 when I took over the club but recently during our match with AFC Leopards we realised Sh5.6million. This clearly shows how we have transformed the club and I will do the same for Harambee Stars and ensure they improve in ranking if given the chance to run the federation.”

Rachier is also credited for earning the club its first major sponsorship deal since the club was formed in 1968, a two year deal from dairy company Tuzo worth Sh38 million as well as ensuring the team owns its own bus.

“I have ensured that the club has its own offices at the Nyayo Stadium unlike in the past when clubs matters were dealt with in private offices. The accounting system is also transparent at the moment and all these would translate in the national office if I am the head of the federation,” said Rachier.

All this comes at a time when the club is facing its worst run of form in 3 years that has seen it fail to win a league match in 5 attempts.

Coach Zico summoned

In a bid by club officials, to show that they take the recent poor performance of the club seriously, coach Zedekiah Otieno “Zico” has been summoned in front of Kogalo officials to explain the recent poor performance by the club. He is apparently going to answer as to whether he is finding it difficult to handle both the club and the national team. This could be a ruse by some to retain Zico as club coach and pull him out of the national team.

Zico along with the entire technical bench are expected to appear on Tuesday September 20th. Club deputy secretary Ronald Ngala  said after an executive committee meeting that ended on Wednesday evening  that they could not make comprehensive conclusions since the club Chairman Ambrose Rachier was absent.

Why Rachier would be missing from such a critical meeting is not understood . Is is busy campaigning for the FKL position ?

Seven officials attended the meeting . “We had a fruitful meeting this evening and since we lacked two crucial members in our Executive committee led by Chairman Ambrose Rachier who send an apology, we could not come up with a comprehensive conclusion. We have summoned the technical bench to appear before us next week on Tuesday. There seems to be a problem that led to the team dropping crucial points which we are ready to address  in amicable way’ observed Ngala. Ngala disclosed that a final conclusion will be delivered on Wednesday where the fate of the technical bench members led by Zico will be known.
According to starAfrica,  organising secretary Tom Ataro has disclosed that a peaceful demonstration is set for tomorrow(friday) to urge Zico and the club Chairman Ambrose Rachier to quit. The procession is set to start from Nairobi’s Uhuru Park from 10 am and end at the Prime Minister Hon .Raila Odinga’s  office.

The fallout from Saturday’s loss

Gor Mahia’s loss to Congo United did not come as a complete shock to most fans. The club had been playing poorly scoring less than one goal per game for the last month or so. The only time KOgalo was able to find the net regularly was against lower tier teams like Kapenguria and West Kenya Sugar. Opposing coaches brazenly bragged about knowing exactly how to beat Kogalo. It has become obvious that there were problems on the technical side of the team. Gone is flowing inter-passing play that characterized the club’s matches last year. Now the team resorted to innefectual long balls. The technical bench it is apparent has run out of ideas and was unable to adapt when other teams figured out how to stop them. The mark of a good coach is being able to read opponents and adapt  to the current situation. There was also the fielding which was questionable at best. Rumours are abounding that coach Zico uses questionable decision making when choosing the starting lineup. The loss to Congo United was thus the straw the broke the camel’s back. During the match, chants of “Zico must go” rent the air. After the match , some fans reacted by throwing stones. Others confronted coach Zico and held him hostage. Some simply left the stadium early and in disgust.

The Nation reports that Tom Ataro has called for the resignation of Ambrose Rachier. “How can we keep losing every weekend? “This is unacceptable. How can we keep losing every weekend?” lamented Ataro, who said all Gor Mahia branches have called on the resignation of both the chairman, Ambrose Rachier, and Otieno; else they will be hounded out of office. “No amount of ‘sweet-talking’ will stop the club members from seeking comprehensive changes in the club,” went on Ataro.In the wake of all this, current and former officials have asked for calm.

According to Supersport, Former Gor Mahia Chairman Fred Mwango has called on fans to remain calm and allow the current executive committee led by Ambrose Rachier to finish its term. Mwango defended Rachier who is the KPL vice `Chairman for steering the team to greater heights. “He has done quite a commendable job since he took over and we should appreciate the role he has played. I plead with the entire Gor Mahia fraternity to rally behind him and the team because winning and losing is part of the game,” said Mwango. Mwango also defended coach Zico saying he had done a commendable job and that introducing mid season changes when Kogalo still had a chance to win the league would be an ill-advised move.

Coach Zico for his part says he is not ready to concede defeat. According to the standard, Otieno, has  has not lost the dressing room as it is said to enjoy the support of most players.

According to Michezoafrika, Gor Mahia’s assistant secretary Ronald Ngala said they have not made any changes to their technical bench and that Zico is still the head coach. However, the officials said they have listened to the burning concerns raised by their fans and are working to address the issue urgently and with immediate effect.  “The fans have raised concerns over the performance of the team and we are working on addressing their concerns urgently. We are very disturbed as well by the poor performance in the recent past and we are also very concerned. We however call on the fans to remain patient as we seek to solve the issue permanently.” Said Ronald Ngala Gor Mahia’s Assistant secretary.

“Our main concern at this point in time is to focus on how the team will win all their remaining matches.” Added Ngala.

Gor Mahia have now slipped to 8 points behind league leaders Tusker, who along with Soafapaka and UIlinzi are rounding up into good form at the right moment. It remains to be seen whether KPL or Supersport will introduce sanctions against the clun for hooliganism.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Former Rangers Fc assistant coach Michael Nam has been approached by Gor Mahia for a possible coaching role at the club.  Said nam: “They approached me for talks but we have not reached any agreement yet and nothing can be confirmed.”

Nam is credited with steering former league side Agro Chemical from ninth position to second in the Nationwide League standings, now only a point shy of leaders KRA and with a match in hand. Nam has an impressive coaching history in Kenya. He holds an international coaching diploma from University of Sports in Hungary in Brazilian coaching methodology. He also holds a British coaching license level 2 under FA and a UEFA advanced foundation course.FKL campaign mode and address the fires burning at the club more clearly.

What is clear is that the current situation is untenable. At this rate, attendance which has been riding high will plummett and the club risks loosing its sponsorship both due to loosing matches and due to hooliganism. Dejected fans will stop travelling to away games in large numbers as has become the norm. Its is therefore imperative that changes are made. What is also clear is that chairman Ambrose Rachier must get out of FKL campaign mode and address the burning issues more clearly. You cannot take fans for granted. Only 4 years ago, Kogalo played home games to a half empty city stadium. Recent history can easily repeat itself.