Gor Mahia and FKF disagree over Philemon Otieno treatment

The career of Gor Mahia defender Philemon Otieno who sustained a career threatening injury while playing for Harambee stars is in limbo

Additional reporting from the Nation

Record Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) are locked in a tussle over the treatment of Philemon Otieno who was injured while on national team duty.

Otieno, who emerged as the first choice right back for both club and country last season, picked a knee injury during the return leg of the first round 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier pitting Harambee Stars against Taifa Stars at Kasarani last month. Otieno was replaced in the first half as Kenya lost 4-1 on post-match penalties following a barren draw.

Reports indicate that FKF had planned to airlift the player for surgery in France few days after the match but that has not happened to date.

Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda has accused the federation of neglecting their player rendering him unavailable for club assignments.

“I wrote a letter to FKF on September 4 on the state of Philemon’s injury and they have never bothered to answer. The player needs to be treated urgently because he is suffering and is in pain. They wrote to us when they needed the player for national assignment but now they have ignored us and deserted him yet it is their responsibility to meet his medical cost,” an aggrieved Aduda told Nation Sport.

Aduda dismissed claims that Otieno has been released by the club reiterating that he is still contracted to Gor Mahia until January 2020.

“Nobody has terminated Philemon’s contract, we only severed it for some time and gave his jersey number to another player. He is still our player. What is surprising is that when Brian Mandela got injured in Harambee Stars camp in France, FKF paid for his treatment and didn’t refer him to his club in South Africa. Why is that not happening in Philemon’s situation?,” posed Aduda.

However, acting FKF CEO Barry Otieno insists that it’s not the prerogative of national team players to be treated by the federation.

“There is no law that say the federation should cater for medicals expenses of a player injured while playing for the national team We also don’t have comprehensive insurance cover for players in the national team, we only give them covers when traveling out of the country for matches,” said Otieno who urged Gor Mahia to carry their own cross. “Philemon is a Gor Mahia player and the club should help him get treatment. As at now, the federation has no money but the situation would have been different if finances were available,” he added.

The surgery, to reconstruct complete tear of Otieno’s anterior cruciate ligament, is estimated to cost Sh500,000.

Willis Ochieng absolves himself of blame

Gor Mahia goalkeeper trainer Willis Ochieng has defended himself against accusations of incompetence after certain fans blamed him for the goals against USM Alger. Some called for him to step aside.

But Willis Ochieng is adamant that he is doing a fine job.

“It is unfortunate when I see the fans putting blame on me whenever Gor Mahia concedes a goal,”

“I have been with this team for a long time now and we have even won the league under my watch. Last season, Gor Mahia conceded the least goals and I don’t understand why fans should now make noise after we lost in Algeria.

“I have done nothing wrong and will continue to dispatch my duties, I know one-day God will vindicate me and even if I leave, the team will still concede goals.” he said according to goal.com

Gor Mahia has struggled to find a solution for the goalkeeping position over the past two years. Mapigano appears to have started really well and even earned a lot of praise from departing coach Hassan Oktay. But he has conceded a number of howlers of late. It may be a lack of confidence. He is clearly a good shot stopper. But his poor positioning at times is an issue of concern.

Polack: It is not yet over

Gor Mahia coach Steve Polack says his side is not giving up on beating USM Alger. Kogalo would require a 3-0 win against the well organized Algerian side

“It’s not yet over. It can be done, it has been done before in football,” Polack told Nation Sport

Polack noted that Kogalo are in rebuilding mode and lacked the experience needed at this level.

“We lost to USM Alger not because we were a poor team but due to little mistakes and loss of concentration. We had 16 players but only one or two have the experience of playing in continental and competitive matches. I don’t want to blame any player or management but I take responsibility for the defeat,” noted Polack.

It will require attacking football against a well organized Algerian side who are likely to sit back and absorb the pressure while waiting for an opportunity to counterattack.

“We have put the defeat behind us. Gor Mahia will no longer play defensive football but we will be attacking because we need to score goals. We have nothing to lose since we still harbour hopes of eliminating USM Alger. It is not time for blame games but fixing one or two areas,” continued Polack.

Rachier: No more home games in Kisumu

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has declared that the club will no longer play home matches in Kisumu due to what he terms as fraud by gate stewards. This is an issue that e-Ticketing was supposed to address.

Additional reporting from Citizen Sports

Gor Mahia will no longer play their home Kenyan Premier League (KPL) matches in Kisumu, club president Ambrose Rachier has said.

Rachier this morning told Royal Media’s Ramogi FM Gor has been incurring heavy losses whenever they host matches at the Moi Stadium Kisumu, citing low gate collection returns due to un-tamable farud.

According to the chairman, in their last match against Tusker in Kisumu on August 31, tickets worthy Sh. 511,000 were sold but the club ended up getting only Sh. 112,000. This was in contrast to the Ksh. 600,000 they spent in preparations and air travel to Kisumu, to honour the fixture.

“Our stewards are the cause of these problems. A better part of gate collections end up in individual pockets and we face this problem mostly in Kisumu. We cannot stand these losses hence the decision not to play in Kisumu unless we are convinced this vice is corrected,’’ told Rachier.

The chair said the stewards have been colluding with half loyal fans to access the stadium, taking bribes as little as Sh. 50 to advance the crime.

‘’The stadium was packed during the Tusker match, yet we ended up getting as little as Ksh. 112,000 as our share. We can’t continue making losses in the name of making our Kisumu fans happy ,’’ underscored Rachier.

Despite the setback, he confirmed Gor will continue with the e-ticketing system that was introduced this season. He explained those entrusted with assisting fans in the e-ticketing  process have also been diverting monies into their own accounts.The service providers, he said, have now come up with an advanced system to curb the losses.

Meanwhile, Rachier has said lack of their own stadium has been the major hurdle to financial freedom, coupled with lack of sponsorship.

“If we had our own stadium, the borrowing culture would be a bygone issue but the stadium land allocated to Gor Mahia in Kasarani has complicated legal issues and nobody is willing to come clear about the title deed. Even the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani  itself has no title deed. I can’t therefore promise when exactly we can have our own stadium’’.

Former  Gor Mahia Turkish coach Hasan Oktay has initiated plans to have Turkish Airline help Gor construct a stadium, but his departure marked the end of the deal.

During their last trip to Algiers for their Champions League match against USM Alger in which they were hammered 4-1, the government purchased 18 tickets for Gor with the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga taking care of their accommodation expenses.

Kipkirui: We still have a chance

Gor Mahia striker Nicholas Kipkirui says the team still has a chance of proceeding to the group stage of the Africa champions league.

“We will have to play better at home to stand a chance (of qualifying),” Kipkururi told the Algerian press. ” he told the Nation

Kipkirui noted that much improvement was needed for the team to stand any chance in the second leg.

“We gave our best but then this things happen. You cannot tell how we were three goals down at half-time. So we have to attack and defender better next time even though it is a tall order.”

Gor Mahia go down to USM Alger 4-1

Gor Mahia’s hopes of reaching the champions league group stage were severely dented on Sunday when they lost 4-1 to USM Alger in Blida

Additional Reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia suffered a 4-1 defeat in the hands of Algerian side USM Alger in a first round Caf Champions League match at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Bilda on Sunday night.

Mohamed Rabie scored the opener in the 16th minute, sending in a volley from inside the box after a good cross from Muaid Ellafi on the left flank. 

Rabie doubled his side’s lead in the 45th minute from the spot after Gor Mahia custodian David Mapigano was adjudged to have fouled him in the box. 

Algeria Under 23 International Zakaria Benchaa made it 3-0 with brilliant curler into the corner as the game went to the breather with the Algerian champions firmly in control. 

Play was stopped for a minute after Gor Mahia striker Nicholas Kipkirui was elbowed by Hamza Kudri in the 47th minute and had to be attended to my medics. Kenneth Muguna took the resultant freekick but USM keeper Ismael Mansour easily picked it. Samuel Onyango came in for the injured Kipkirui a few minutes later.

K’Ogalo pulled one back in the 55th minute, captain Muguna sending Mansouri the wrong way after Charles Momanyi’s goal-bound shot was handled in the box. 

Zakaria Benchaa grabbed his second in the 75th minute to make it 4-1, reacting fast to tap in a rebound from the edge of the box after a freekick had beaten Mapigano but bounced off the post. 

USM Alger’s big win at home means they carry a huge advantage to Nairobi when the two teams meet for the return leg in Kasarani on September 29 with the aggregate winner entering the group stage of the competition.

Gor Mahia line-up

David Mapigano (GK), Wellington Ochieng, Geoffrey Ochieng, Charles Momanyi, Joash Onyango, Tobias Otieno, Lawrence Juma, Kenneth Muguna (C), Bonface Omondi, Dickson Ambundo, Nicholas Kipkirui

Government to fund Gor Mahia trip

Gor Mahia will after all travel Algeria after an eventful week in which the clubs travel plans were thrown into disarray.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia are set depart for Algeria on Friday for the first leg of their Caf Champions League first round match against USM Algier, club chairman Ambrose Rachier said on Thursday.

Rachier told Nation Sport that club patron and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga had intervened and the government has promised to give them return air ticket so that they can honour the away fixture set for Sunday.

According to Rachier, the team couldn’t leave the country on Thursday as earlier planned due to financial constraints, though still they are not sure about the time they shall leave on Friday because that depends on the airline and flight which they will be booked in by the government.

“We shall be leaving on Friday but I can’t tell the time, because we are not sure when the tickets we have been promised will be ready. We intend to reach Algeria on Saturday in readiness for the Sunday match. As at now we still don’t have money, things have been hard and we are relying on the government’s promise,” Rachier told Nation Sport on Thursday.

“We are sure they won’t let us down,” he added.

He acknowledged that the club has not been able to raise enough money to fund the trip and thanked the fans who are still continuing to support the team financially through the club’s pay bill number.

The encounter between the two teams is slated for Sunday at 10.25 pm and K’Ogalo will have less than 24 hours to train before the match kick off after arriving in Algeria.

Despite the financial troubles that has surrounded the teams traveling plans, Rachier exuded confidence that the players are well prepared and they shall go for a win then finish the job in a fortnight at home during the return leg.

The club on Wednesday released a list of 26 people including players, match officials and technical bench who are expected to depart for Algeria.

Traveling party

Boniface Oluoch, David Mapigano, Wellington Ochieng’, Tobias Otieno, Nicholas Kipkirui, Kenneth Muguna, Boniface Omondi, Joash Onyango, Joachim Oluoch, Samuel Onyango, Dickson Ambudo, Earnest Wendo, Lawrence Juma, Charles Momanyi, Maurice Ojwang’ and Geoffrey Ochieng’

Technical bench: Steven Polack, Patrick Odhiambo, Jolawi Obondo, Willis Ochieng’, Fredrick Otieno, George Omondi.

Officials: Ronald Ngala, Judith Nyangi, David Kilo and FKF official Joseph Andere.

Rachier: Gor Mahia might not travel to Algiers

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has suggested that the club is in danger of not traveling to Algiers.

Courtesy of goal.com

The chairman has revealed what the team needs to cater for their logistics ahead of Sunday’s Caf CL game in North Africa

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has revealed the team might not honour their Caf Champions League match against USM Alger on Sunday.

The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Champions are struggling to raise money for return tickets and accommodation for the traveling party, but until now their efforts have not paid dividends. The chairman admits the journey to North Africa is now hanging by a thread, and his team might be forced to pull out.

“As it stands, things are thick for us, we need about five million but what we have is less than 500,000 shillings,” Rachier told Goal on Thursday.

“What we got from our unsuccessful fundraiser was pledges and post-dated cheques. The team was supposed to leave for Algeria on Thursday night, however, with the current situation, it is impossible. We will have to push the departure date forward as we look for money to make the trip successful.

“I cannot guarantee whether we will make it or not, it is not within my control. I urge all stakeholders and lovers of this great club to come forth and help us get the money to help us travel,” he added.

K’Ogalo qualified for the second preliminary round after eliminating Burundi’s Aigle Noir.

Rest in peace Laban Juma Toto

Laban Juma Toto, the composer of the most famous song ever sung about Gor Mahia, has passed on. The song which was released in the early 1970s, praised the club which was relatively new for bringing many trophies to Kenya and celebrated the famous players of the time including Nicodemus Arudhi, Ouma “Chege”, Ben Obala, Otieno “Hatari”, Fred Siranga, James Sianga, Steve Yongo, Allan Thigo and others.

FC Gor Mahia by Juma Toto (Video)

According to the Standard, Juma underwent a head surgery at Kenyatta National Hospital after falling and hitting his head on the pavement near his home in Jerusalem Estate, Nairobi, last week.His family said said the veteran musician did not make it out of Kenyatta National Hospital’s ICU after the surgery. He died on Tuesday night.

According to close family members, the musician was walking home after an evening out with friends when the accident happened.Fellow artistes described Juma’s death as a big blow to the Kenyan music scene, saying he not only came from an experienced pre-independence generation of musicians, but was also still active in the art.Before his death, Juma had a solo piano performance at the Panari Hotel.He was also the chairman of the Kenya Music Association and is credited with the formation of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya to fight for the rights of musicians and artistes in the country.

Gor Mahia fundraiser raises Ksh 300,000

Guest of honor Mike Sonko was a no show at the Gor Mahia fundraiser on Wednesday. The total amount raised was Ksh 300,000. This according to Kahawatungu blog. The fundraiser also raised Ksh 1 million in pledges.

The  pledges were from Homabay County Governor Cyprian Awiti pledged Kshs150,000, Siaya Governor Amoth Rasanga Kshs250,000, Member of Parliament George Aladwa Kshs50,000 according to Kahawatungu.

Aside from Sonko, the club EC was expecting Messrs Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. None of them showed up.

The fundraiser is meant to raise funds for the Algeria trip.