Archives - April, 2014



30 Apr 14

Oboya in past action

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia and midfielder Patrick Oboya are staring at possible sanctions from world body Fifa over an alleged irregular signing of the player. Two weeks ago, Fifa queried over how the player was acquired by Gor Mahia and demanded an explanation from the club. This could also be the reason, Gor Mahia have not been using the player of late in their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) matches as they wait to sort out the matter with Fifa. Prior to joining Gor Mahia, Oboya was contracted to Vietnamese Super League side Thanh Hoa where he stayed for hardly three weeks before both parties terminated the contract. He was previously at Slovakian club MFK Ruzomberok before moving to Vietnam and eventually to Gor Mahia.

The club through Assistant Secretary General Ronald Ngala said they do not know who has complained to Fifa about the signing of Oboya which he insists only went ahead after they were given the go ahead by Football Kenya Federation (FKF). “When we expressed interest in the player, we asked for his ITC through FKF who after some time felt it was alright to use the player and they duly registered him.”

“We are equally surprised by the query from Fifa and we do not understand where it is coming from. We have wrote back Them explaining that he is indeed our player and how we acquired him. “At the moment we cannot say what will happen. We just have to wait and hear what Fifa has to say to our reply,” said Ngala. Ngala was evasive on whether this is the reason the player has not been featuring in KPL matches insisting that the decision to field him is solely upto the coach.
“It is not entirely why he has been out of the squad. It could be a reason but then again, the decision to use a player is upto the coach,” Ngala explained. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Transfer Matching System manager Nick Mwendwa, confirmed the query by Fifa but absolved the federation from blame. “Clubs normally make direct request for an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) with a log in provided by the federation. In the case of Oboya, Gor Mahia never did that,” he explained. Accepted responsibility Mwendwa, however, accepted responsibility for not following up to ensure that the club made the request but instead gave the go ahead for Gor Mahia to field the player based on a terminated contract he provided to the federation. “I gave the go-ahead for Gor Mahia to use the player when he presented a document showing that he had terminated his contract with the Vietnamese club on mutual consent.

“When such matters arise, Fifa insists that whatever action is taken favors the player and this is what I had in mind in giving him consent to play.

“However, even then Gor Mahia should still have followed up on the ITC,” he said. A source close to the player however blamed FKF, Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and Gor Mahia for allowing the player on the pitch without this vital document. “Did Gor Mahia request for the ITC? Why did KPL and FKF allow him to take to the pitch without it,?” he wondered. It is not clear what kind of sanctions could be slapped on the club if they are found guilty but this could range from losing points, a hefty fine or suspended from signing players for a particular period of time.
The player could also be suspended if it is proved that he misled Gor Mahia about his status prior to signing for them.


Link Category: News



29 Apr 14

courtesy of goal.com

Kenya champions say they will not let go of the influential midfielder in June even if he succeeds in upcoming trials with South African side Ajax Capetown

Gor Mahia have taken issue with a request by Fisa academy to let go of influential midfielder Kevin Omondi in June.

The academy has told the Kenyan Premier League champions to be ready to release the player as early as June if he succeeds in trials at South African side Ajax Capetown.

“We have received a letter from Fisa Academy informing us that Omondi is needed to attend trials in South Africa but they are not giving us the date.

“However, we take exception to their request that we be ready to release the player in June if he succeeds in the trials. We cannot afford to let go of our best player in a year we are defending KPL title,” Gor Mahia secretary Chris Omondi told Goal.

Omondi says while they have no problem allowing the player to attend trials, letting him go is another matter altogether which can only be discussed at the appropriate time.

 

Gor Mahia over-run Mumbi Nationale

Gor Mahia beat Mumbi Nationale 4-0 in a Tuseday night friendly. Kevin Omondi scored three goals and George Blackberry Odhiambo scored the 4th goal. The national league division 1 side coached by Ezekiel Akwana were no match for Gor Mahia on this occassion.

 


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28 Apr 14

Gor Mahia are set to play a friendly against third tier side Mumbi nationale on Tuesday April 29. This according to futaa.com. The match will be used as preparation for the Tusker premier league encounter with SoNy Sugar on Saturday May 3. I want to prepare my boys well ahead of the weekend assignment against Yatta Combined and I’m therefore very happy Gor accepted to play against us, Akwana told futaa.com

Gor Mahia have received a boost as Anthony Akumu and David Owino, both of whom have been saddled by injuries resumed training according to michezoafrika. Innocent Mutiso who was injured by a rough tackle during the match against Muhoroni will be out for 1 month.

 


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28 Apr 14

courtesy of futaa.com

Gor Mahia striker Dan Sserunkuma was named the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) Player of the Year for 2013 in an awards gala that saw 44 other awards dished out at a gala held at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Saturday 26 April.

Sserunkuma was not present at the gala, presided over by the Ugandan National assembly Speaker Rebecca Kadaga but his award was picked on his behalf by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) CEO and former Ugandan international Edgar Watson.

Key man

The diminutive striker has been a key player for Gor Mahia since joining from Nairobi City Stars in mid 2012 and was instrumental in K’Ogalo’s run as they ended an 18 year wait for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title in 2013.

The 2014 edition of the USPA Awards held on Saturday was the 28th since its inception.


Link Category: News



28 Apr 14

This editorial was posted in the Daily Nation on April 26

One of the more interesting political stories this week happened in the field of football. The Kenya Revenue Authority slapped Gor Mahia with a Sh118 million bill which it claims the club owes in back taxes.

This was only the latest setback for Gor. A few weeks ago, Brookside Dairy announced they would discontinue their sponsorship of the club.

So Gor are now in as weak a position as they have been for many years. They lack a sponsor and are effectively facing bankruptcy.

What does this have to do with politics? Everything, of course. Although fans of many ethnic backgrounds come to the stadium on match day, Gor is the club of the Luo community.

Mayienga ne waa Sudan!” goes a popular terrace chant. Basically translated as “we came from Sudan”, it hints at the migratory path from Bahr el Ghazal that the River Lake Nilotes took before settling around Lake Victoria.

What people see

Brookside, the milk producing giant, is owned by the Kenyatta family. There is no separating business from politics in Kenya.

Although Brookside is a firm that has the right to do business as it pleases, the way it looks when such a firm cuts ties with a club with a major emotional link to a community is that State House is sending the none-too-subtle message: “We are not one. Siasa mbaya, Maisha mbaya.

That’s the inevitable interpretation even if it was not the intention.

Of course, KRA may have taken the decision to send the letter to Gor without the knowledge of the politicians.

But the fact that Gor was singled out will only be seen as a direct assault from State House.

When the story appeared in the press, a headline immediately came up on the Facebook Gor fan club page: Gor Mahia is not a club; it’s a lifestyle, but do we say. “Breaking news: Uhuru Kenyatta’s government out to finish Gor Mahia – Mayienga.”

What gives? Mr Kenyatta’s supporters will say that this does not matter. Let everyone carry their cross. Besides, the President may not even be aware of all these developments.

That’s a naïve view. One problem we have in Kenya is a dangerous empathy gap between Jubilee and Cord supporters.

Neither group wants to take the middle ground, although they all claim to have moved on. “You are a bunch of losers who can’t concede defeat,” runs the Jubilee line. “You are the worst thieves in the world,” is the Cord position.

A politically smart president would rise above these narrow tribal dogmas and seek to accommodate all citizens.

If I were Mr Kenyatta, I would tell Brookside to write a big, fat cheque and renew their sponsorship of Gor for several years, especially understanding that few companies will want to be associated with a brand the First Family has cut adrift.

I would be photographed going to a social occasion in Gor’s famous green jersey. I would understand that I will not win their votes at the next election. But, as a national leader of a country with so many challenges, I would appreciate that I, at least, need their respect.

Symbolic

The Kenyatta State House gains nothing when it appears to be governing for the 50 per cent of the electorate from which it believes it can secure continued political domination.

Soft gestures such as embracing sports are a great way to build national unity and win support.

Hosni Mubarak never missed an Egypt national team match, and Franco in Spain became humanised by his passionate support for Real Madrid. The same magic works in democracies, too.

In a major study in America in 2010, Stanford University researchers found that positive results for American football college teams two weeks before an election boosted the vote share of an incumbent in local elections by between 1.05 and 2.42 percentage points.

Even if it does not add a single vote to his total, Uhuru should know that he is supposed to be a symbol of national unity. Image matters.

He profits naught from being seen as fighting Gor (although club officials certainly have a role in curbing the actions of the hooligans who tarnish the club’s image), and would gain a lot by embracing that most totemic of clubs.


Link Category: News



27 Apr 14

Now that the club is in dire straits financially with the withdrawal of sponsors Tuzo and with the KRA freezing all the club’s accounts, the club needs its fans more than ever. Club chairman Ambrose Rachier has started an MPESA initiative to enable fans to contribute. Some already have.

However those fans who live overseas do not have access to MPESA. The club should expand its monetary base by making it possible for fans who are not in Kenya to donate to the cause. Remember that there are some overseas based fans who would also be interested in contributing. Perhaps they could partner with money transfer companies such as Moneygram. I will leave it up to the club’s officials to find a way to enable diaspora fans to contribute. But I would strongly urge them to consider expanding beyond MPESA so that overseas based fans can contribute.

And once again, transparency and accountability  is of paramount importance. If the club’s officials continue to ignore the fans who have been calling for transparency for decades now, this group of officials will be blamed if the club does not meet its financial goals. The initiative may  not succeed unless the club officials do a better job of being transparent. Although many fans have sent their contributions, there are already numerous fans who feel unseasy about doing the same. Its now up to club officials to put in place measures for accountability and transparency. History is judging them to see whether they will steer the club out of this crisis. Having said that, I call on all fans to help ensure that the players are paid. The last thing the fans need now is for players to go on strike.


Link Category: Articles



25 Apr 14

According to a story published by  capital FM, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has refuted allegations it is targeting specific clubs in their purge against tax-defaulting local football outfits.

In a statement, the taxman also advised affected teams on how to resolve claims lodged against them for back taxes, penalties and interest.

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions, Gor Mahia, announced Thursday they were broke after losing sponsorship and being slapped with a Sh118m tax lien by KRA with chairman Ambrose Rachier alleging the taxman’s move was a witch hunt against K’Ogalo.

“A number of football clubs were found not to be filing returns or paying relevant taxes e.g. PAYE for their employees and players as well as withholding taxes from those engaged on contract for example coaches.

“It is important to note that Sporting Clubs are required by law to withhold and remit payroll taxes (Pay As You Earn) as well as withholding taxes where they apply as part of Statutory deductions under Sections 37(1) and 35 (1) of the Income Tax Act Cap 470,” KRA said in a statement signed by acting Deputy Commissioner, Marketing and Communications, Ezekiel Maru.

“Under the Income Tax Act, Sporting Clubs are not exempted from making returns and such returns must be accompanied by audited accounts.

“In the absence of a return the Commissioner is empowered by law to carry out an assessment of and to estimate taxes due and any interests that may have accrued thereof,” Maru explained.

“KRA is committed to enhancing voluntary compliance through informed awareness. In this regard, the Authority has put in place elaborate educational programmes targeting existing and potential taxpayers.

“Clubs who may need guidance/assistance on how to comply should contact their relevant tax stations or contact Samuel Aboge on email: Samuel.Aboge@kra.go.ke or Telephone 2813130,” the statement added.

But the KRA still has not explained why it is only Gor Mahia that is having all its accounts frozen. Reports suggest that most KPL teams do indeed owe back taxes. But there have been no reports of any other teams having their accounts frozen.

Further to that , there is no explanation on whether Kenya’s track athletes have complied with stipulations laid out by the KRA.

While launching mobile pay bill number 350100 to raise funds from their fans on the Safaricom platform, Rachier claimed KRA were strangling the revenue streams of the local giants by targeting their income sources that were boosted by the KPL television rights deal with SuperSport and until March, Brookside Dairies sponsorship.

“KRA’s effort is to make sure we don’t receive money and we won’t be surprised if somebody comes at the gate to grab our entry collection because there is that deliberate effort to make sure we don’t obtain money and I’m wondering why Gor since no other club has been approached,” he claimed, ignoring archrivals AFC Leopards and Western Stima also came under the taxman’s crosshairs.


Link Category: News



24 Apr 14

courtesy of goal.com

With KRA breathing on their neck demanding Sh118m in tax arrears, K’ogalo have launched an Mpesa number to help raise funds to run club activities

Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia have for the first time admitted that they are running bankrupt and want fans to help raise funds to bail out the team.

Club chairman Ambrose Rachier on Thursday sounded an alarm over K’Ogalo’s financial fortunes in the wake of a Sh118 million tax demand. In the process, Gor Mahia have launched an Mpesa number 350100 as they turn to their fans for help.

In an interview with Goal, Rachier admits that unless fans come to their aid, the club may ground to a halt. “We need Sh4.5million every month to run the club. We do not have a sponsor and the tax man has closed all taps where we can get money.

“Things are becoming difficult for us and as it stands we might not be able to pay players’ salaries unless someone comes to our aid. We don’t have a sponsor and those we are talking to have not committed yet.

“We have been struggling to pay players’ with in-house fundraising but it will definitely become tough for us. It is the reason we have come up with this Mpesa number to ask our fans to chip in the small amount they have to help us keep the club afloat.”

The financial woes just come a few weeks after Brookside Dairies through their brand Tuzo refused to renew their three year sponsorship package that dates back to 2011.

“I cannot say that we are cash strapped, but we do not have money to run our activities. KRA has served all our sources of income with the demand letter and we cannot get money. We went to Brookside to collect salary arrears for March but they told us they cannot release any money because of the letter.”

Rachier says they have initiated talks with Kenya Revenue Authority to resolve the tax stand-off but he objected to the figure. “We are wondering why it is only Gor Mahia who are being targeted. At the moment we are seeking advice from experts to determine the best way to deal with this situation.”


Link Category: News



24 Apr 14

courtesy of the Nation

Failure by Gor Mahia to deduct and remit income tax from players’ salaries has prompted Kenya Revenue Authority to demand Sh118 million from the club.

Last week, the taxman forwarded a demand note to Gor Mahia and went ahead to block the club’s accounts, putting the team in financial problems.

This turn of events means that if an amicable settlement is not reached soon, the club, which is yet to get a new sponsor, risks running into big financial problems.

The club’s monthly wage bill is slightly above Sh2.7 million and with no sponsors and frozen accounts, the club will find it difficult to pay players.

ACCOUNTS BLOCKED
In an interview with Daily Nation Sport on Wednesday, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier confirmed that the accounts had been blocked and the club was walking on a tight rope.

“They (KRA) have blocked our money everywhere which has crippled club operations. We could as well close shop as we do not have any means to pay players,” Rachier said.

Club secretary-general Chris Omondi added: “Things are grim, the situation is bad and we are yet to figure the way forward.”

KRA wrote to Gor last week through its former sponsors Tuzo requiring the club to pay Sh118 million in income tax. The move by the taxman prompted Tuzo to withhold money meant to pay players’ salaries last month. The club however sought funds and paid players.

Omondi said that the issue of taxing players’ salaries is a “hot potato” that needed time to be address. “The issue of taxing players’ salaries is a hot topic. It is something I touched on when I ascended to office and should be handled carefully.”

Rachier added that club will issue  a comprehensive statement on the matter in the next two days as they are still consulting legal experts.

He cried foul, insisting that the league champions were being unfairly targeted as no other premier league club has been treated the same way.

“We are reading sinister motive in the move by KRA. Why just us. I mean there are 16 Premier League clubs, why just single out Gor Mahia? Rachier charged.

KRA’S TAKE

When contacted on Wednesday, KRA’s acting deputy commissioner Ezekiel Maru refuted Gor’s claims.

“KRA wishes to clarify that Gor Mahia is not the only club under compliance monitoring. As a matter of fact, some clubs have already made payment, while others are still under compliance check.

“The law as it stands today requires KRA to collect taxes on all incomes earned by sportspersons, including football clubs. However a number of football clubs were found not to be filing returns or paying relevant taxes (Pay As You Earn) for their employees and players. Gor Mahia was identified among others, as a non-compliant taxpayer in the football clubs focus group,” Marwa said in the statement.

However, it has since emerged that some of the 16 clubs in the top tier league have also not met their tax obligations regarding players’ salaries and allowances.


Link Category: News



24 Apr 14


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