FKF files formal protest to CAF

The Football Kenya Federation has filed a formal protest to CAF. The protest will in all likelihood not change the result but should highlight the abysmal performance of the match referee.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Football Kenya Federation has complained to the Confederation of African Football over the officiating of last Sunday’s Caf Confederation Cup match pitting Gor Mahia and hosts Nasr Athlétique de Hussein Dey in Algiers.

Sunday’s controversial 1-0 defeat saw K’Ogalo drop to second in Group D with six points, and their best bet now is to get maximum points against their remaining opponents in order to qualify to the tournament’s quarter-finals.

In a letter sent to Caf dated March 4, 2019, FKF has criticised the performance of centre referee Boubou Traore and sought clarification on why he disallowed Shafik Batambuze’s 58th minute goal from a Francis Kahata corner.

“We would like to single out the performance of the Centre Referee, Mr Boubou Traore. The specific criticism of his performance is during the 58th minute where he disallowed a goal scored by the visiting from a corner kick.

From the video obtained frim Caf on the match highlights, it is evident that there was no contact/infringement from the attacking players on the goalkeeper neither was there an offside call it being a corner kick and as such, we would like to seek clarification from Caf as to why the goal was disallowed,” read part of the letter written by FKF Secretary General Robert Muthomi.

The federation further wants the Malian referee scrutinised carefully before been allowed to take charge of future matches.

“We hope very much that you will carefully consider the reports of the Caf Referee Assessor for the match and look at the TV recording of the match to form a view about the acceptability of Mr Traore’s performance, and of his suitability to referee future matches,” Muthomi added.

The record Kenyan champions are in Cairo for a six-day training camp ahead of their next clash against Zamalek on Sunday, before they return to the country to face Petro Atletico in their final group match on March 17.

Oktay protests biased officiating

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay cited biased officiating as the reason his side lost to NA Hussein Dey on Sunday.

Additional reporting from the Nation

NA Hussein Dey’s Abderhamane Yusfi’s first half goal sent Gor Mahia back to second place in Group D of the Caf Confederation Cup on Sunday night in a match that was overshadowed by suspect officiating from Malian referee Boubou Traore.

Yusfi bundled the ball home in the 10th minute after midfielder Samuel Onyango had tried everything to scramble it off the line, and reserve keeper Fredrick Odhiambo had made a double save just moments earlier to keep his team in the match.

The overriding talking point of the game however, came in the second half when Hassan Oktay’s team seemed to have equalised through a header from Shafik Batambuze, but this strike was shockingly disallowed for an infringement.

The infringement, as later replayed on the big screens around the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers, showed Hussein Dey goalkeeper Gaya Merbah colliding with a team-mate and falling to the ground with no contact whatsoever from the K’Ogalo players.

Apart from this, Traore also flashed five yellow cards to Gor players with Nicholas Kipkirui, Tuyisenge and Onyango being first half culprits, while Francis Mustapha was yellow carded at half time on the reserve bench for complaining to the first assistant referee Baba Yombolba.

Only one Hussein Dey player was cautioned in the duration of the ill-tempered clash.

“That was the worst form of officiating I have ever seen at that level. I will be keen to read what the match assessors will have written because to me, that was a clear goal that we were denied. I don’t know what to say.

“I will speak to the coach and the club’s CEO who were present during the match and together we shall decide whether or not to write an official complaint to Caf,” said Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier.

In the match, Gor were second best in the opening period and the hosts took full advantage, administering several attacks, which was a complete opposite of the first leg match staged in Nairobi where Gor dominated the Algerians.

The defeat saw Gor drop to second in Group D with six points from four games as NA Hussein Dey rose to the top of the pile with seven. Zamalek are third and Angola’s Petro Atletico are last.

‘”We are still on course to qualifying. We need at least a draw against Zamalek and a win at home against Petro Atletico We are now focused on those two games,’ said Gor team manager Jolawi Abondo.

The K’Ogalo contingent were scheduled to leave Algiers at 4pm on Monday for Cairo where they will connect to Alexandria on Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s epic clash against Zamalek.

Gor Mahia lose to Hussein Dey 1-0

A 9th minute goal gave the Algerian side a narrow 1-0 win. More to come

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia controversially lost by a solitary goal to Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey in a Caf Confederation Cup Group D clash played in Algiers on Sunday night.

The Kenyan champions were undone after Abderhamane Yusfi bundled home the ball on ten minutes even though it seemed Samuel Onyango had done just about enough to scramble it off the line.

The tap in goal came after reserve keeper Fred Odhiambo had made a double save to keep his team in the match.

Gor were second best in the opening period and the hosts took full advantage, administering several attacks with a view of earning an early advantage.

In the process, Nicholas Kipkurui and Shafique Batambuze were booked earlier on in the game.

Hassan Oktay’s team seemed to have equalised in the second half as Samuel Onyango’s header off a Francis Kahata corner kick found the net, but the strike was surprisingly disallowed for an infringement.

Following this result, Gor drop to second in their group with six points from four games with NA Hussein Dey leading courtesy of an extra point.

Zamalek are third and Angola’s Petro Atletico are last.

Gor Mahia face toughest stretch

Gor Mahia are facing the most difficult stretch of their 2018-2019 CAF Confederations cup campaign. This as they try to become the first Kenyan team to proceed beyond the group stage of a continental tournament. Gor Mahia are set to play away matches against NA Hussein Dey and Zamalek before hosting Petro de Luanda.

Gor Mahia’s away record has not been stellar this season. They have lost to Nyasa Big Bullets, Lobi Stars and Petro de Luanda. However they did manage a crucial away draw against New Star de Douala which appears to be tougher opposition than NA Hussein Dey. This is a good reason for optimism.

With the difficulties Gor Mahia have been facing away from home, coach Oktay has opted to change tactics.

“You know my style and you know I love to play open, attractive football. We did it in Nigeria against Lobi Stars and we also did it against Petro in Angola. But now we will have to change. I have to change my style a bit,” the Oktay told Capital Sport.

Gor Mahia needs at least four points to qualify for the next stage which means getting an away draw is crucial.

“We need to get at least a point in the two away games. We know playing in North Africa is hard, but I am not worried. I know my boys and I know we can make it.” continued Oktay.

Gor Mahia did manage good away performances last season. They forced a draw away to Rayon Sport and beat Yanga 3-2 in Dar es Salaam. However their visits to North Africa have not been happy ones. In recent years they have lost to USM Alger, Esperance (twice) and ENPPI. Indeed you would have to go back to 1987 to find a time when Gor Mahia did not lose away in North Africa.

However their performances have been improving of late. Whereas they lost 5-0 to Esperance in 2014, they almost forced a draw in 2018 but for a defensive blunder. Therefore this year Kogalo appears primed for a good performance.

Coach Oktay however expressed concern that his side may not be 100% fit.

“The Algerian Federation helped Hussein Dey because they postponed their league matches. But for us, we asked of the same but nothing. But, I am not worried. We will go and fight to get a result. I know if all my players were physically 100pc, we would get a minimum of three or four goals in Algeria. Rest assured,” Oktay said

Gor Mahia will be without first choice goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch who was injured in the midweek match against Tusker.

“We didn’t know Oluoch’s injury was serious until yesterday when the leg started swelling and the doctor told us he is unfit to play. It is a big blow but we hope the other goalkeepers will step up to the challenge. Odhiambo has played in such a competition before so it shouldn’t be a big problem,” said Gor’s assistant Secretary General Ronald Ngala to the Nation.

Gor Mahia will stay in North Africa after the match in Algiers.

“We will not be back and that’s why our midweek game against Ulinzi was rescheduled. We are yet to decide whether we will stay in Algeria for a few days and then travel to Egypt or we will just go there direct and prepare from there. But we will make a decision once we get there,” Gor Mahia Chief Executive Officer Lordvick Aduda said to Citizen Sports.


Gor Mahia said to be after Rayon duo

A report in the Daily Nation suggests that Gor Mahia are to pursue Eric Rutanga and Michael Sarpong who currently play for Rayon Sports.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia are keen on luring Rayon Sport duo Eric Rutanga and Sarpong Micheal in March.

But the Kenyan champions must be prepared to spend big as these two players will not come cheaply, reports Rwanda Foot.

K’Ogalo have recently seen their resources stretched because of a combination of departures and a busy schedule, which has left the first team having to compete in either a local or continental assignment at least twice every week.

Worse, the Kenyan side recently released two dependable players in the frame of Karim Niziyigimana and Ephrem Guikhan and it makes sense that these two players would come in as replacements.

Rutanga is a quality left-back who was instrumental when the Rwandan club defeated Gor Mahia 2-1 in a Caf Confederation Cup match in Nairobi in 2018.

Should he come in, he will either compete with Shafique Batambuze for the left back position or moved ahead to play in left midfield.

Sarpong is, meanwhile, expected to reinforce coach Hassan Oktay midfield having displayed a rich vein of form in the Rwandan league.

These two players are expected to cost Sh5.5 million, according to well-placed sources.

10 man Gor Mahia edge Tusker 1-0

Butambuze in action against Kevin Omondi

Gor Mahia fought gallantly to edge a tough Tusker side 1-0. The winning goal came from Nicholas Kipkirui who converted a corner. Gor Mahia had been reduced to ten men after goalkeeper Boniface Onyango was sent off.

Additional reporting from Citizen Sports

Both sides got the afternoon ticking with a fair share of chances on both ends but it was the visitors who enjoyed  a slightly fatter share of the ball.

K’Ogallo were forced into an early change after first choice goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch was given matching orders by referee Caroline Wanjala for handling the ball outside his territory after Tusker forward David Juma was set up by a fine through ball from the middle of the pack.

Oluoch stopped Robert Matano’s men from taking the lead in the 26th, but his decision was met with a red card forcing boss Hassan Oktay to sacrifice goal hunter George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, as back-up goal keeper Shaban Odhoji took up the mantle between the sticks.

The K’Ogallo no. 1 left the pitch limping in what seemed like an injury ahead of their CAF Confederations return leg face-off with Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey in Algiers on Sunday.

Midfielder Samuel Onyango got close to giving the hosts the lead in the first half on three occasions, being denied by the right hand side of Emery Mvuyekure’s post on the stroke of the first half.

The two sides came back for the second half ready to bag all the three points and a series of attacks were lodged on both ends with Gor Mahia the first to reap, 12 minutes into the second half, after goal poacher Nicholas Kipkirui got onto to the end of Shafik Batambuze’s right footed corner.

Matano’s troops lobbied for an equaliser as substitute Bill Oporia got on target by heading in a corner in the 80th minute but the referee ruled it out for a foul on the goal keeper in the build up.

A couple of moments after blowing up a glorious opportunity to double the hosts’ lead, Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge made way for veteran striker Dennis Oliech with five minutes of normal time remaining, marking the first appearance for ‘Wuod Maria’ as he is known in some quarters after the much-publicised  pay dispute with the Gor hierarchy.

Oliech and Onyango both came close in the final moments of the game but sent the ball flying onto the stands, with the Kipkirui solitary goal getting the job done for the 17-time KPL champions.

Gor Mahia vs Tusker in crucial match

Fresh from their success against Algeria side NA Hussein Dey, Gor Mahia will once again bring their attention back to the local scene. On Wednesday they take on Tusker FC in what promises to a tough encounter. The match will be played at Machakos on Wednesday February 27.

Tusker are only one point behind Gor Mahia. Both sides are eager to remain in the title chase and both are hard pressed to keep up with league leaders Bandari.

It promises to be a tough encounter. Last season Gor Mahia dropped their first points of the season when they were held scoreless by Tusker in February. In the return leg in October, Tusker scored a 1-0 win.

And Tusker have some highly motivated individuals. Coach Robert Matano is always motivated to play Gor Mahia. Former Gor Mahia attacker Timothy Otieno will also want to make his mark against his former club. But the one player who always wakes up from his sleep when playing against Gor Mahia is Kevin Omondi. Inconsistent as he is, the one team he always wants to play well against is Gor Mahia.

Gor Mahia for their part will be looking to make amends for last season when they dropped four points to Tusker. A win is critical in order to keep pace with Bandari. Kahata and Joash Onyango will be missing due to minor injuries. But Kogalo have plenty of confidence after beating Hussein Dey and the return of Dennis Oliech will only serve to further strengthen the team.

Oliech to make a comeback

Gor Mahia are buoyed by the return of striker Dennis Oliech following the intervention of coach Hassan Oktay.

“I was looking forward to have him back and I am very happy that he listened to my request and came for training. He is a real pro. Remember he did not play for two seasons but he came back and is giving 100% for the team. Unfortunately he got injured and couldn’t come with us to Angola but when he recovered he played for 90 minutes (against Western Stima). Not all players are like that.

The coach is full of praise for Oliech whom he says is showing the rest of the players how to be a professional.

“I love to have him in the team because of his experience. He talks to the young players and lends his vast experience to the team. I am telling you any coach would want to have a player like that on the team so I hope that the management can sort out this issues amicably,”

Oktay says Oliech will return Tuesday

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay believes he has convinced striker Dennis Oliech to return to the club’s training ground on Tuesday.

“I spoke to him (Dennis Oliech) and he is very positive. He has promised me that he will be available for training tomorrow (Tuesday). Dennis is a big name for Kenya, he is a big brand for the country and I need him back.” said Oktay to goal.com

Asked whether the issues have been resolved, Oktay stated that they were small issues that would be resolved in due course.


“I have also promised to help sort out the problems he is currently facing with the club. Those are small issues; that we can sort them because I don’t want him to stay away from the team,” he said

Oliech’s representatives up in arms

However Oliech’s representatives, speaking to the Daily Nation, struck a decidedly different tone.

“Oliech really wanted to be involved in the game (against Hussein Dey), but we felt that he shouldn’t because the club is not appreciating his efforts. It will shock you that since he signed for the club in December, Oliech has not received even a shilling as sign-on fee and he has been playing all that time. ” they told the Nation

They further went on to claim that Oliech did not want a salary or a contract from Gor Mahia.

“Oliech initially wanted to have an open contract so that he draws no salary from the club but only allowances. They refused this offer and said that they must sign him. When Oliech signed, we agreed on a sign-on fee that was to be paid in batches. But three months later, not even the first batch has been remitted. And when we ask about it, the officials keep taking us round in circles. Is that fair?

“Let it be clear that Oliech is not complaining about the salary delay. When we were signing, we knew that salaries can delay but why shouldn’t they pay his sign-on fee as agreed yet they have the money?

The representative further hinted at divisions within the club’s EC

“That secretariat is also very deeply divided and I will not shy off from telling them that what they are doing is wrong. Some officials are telling Oliech to play, and some are telling him not to play because there is money and they are withholding it from him deliberately. What level of unprofessionalism is that?

“They refused to let Oliech play for Gor as a free agent and insisted on his signature. Now Oliech is tied at Gor, and the club is refusing to pay his dues yet when a deal comes through, the club stands to benefit. Is that right?,” posed Ken, Oliech’s elder brother, who was present during the contract negotiations.

Ken Oliech, a former Gor Mahia striker and Oliech’s older brother said the officials are runining the club.

“They are messing up the club. And Oliech is speaking for the voiceless. If they can treat Oliech with such indifference, what about the other players who are too shy to speak up?,” he said to the Nation

Rachier: There is no delay

Club Chairman Ambrose Rachier for his part insists that everything is being done according to the agreed upon process.


“The issue of Oliech is very simple. We shall pay him on March 1 as per our agreement. The agreement was to pay him in instalments and take it from me, we shall do so before the end of this month. The other instalment is due at the beginning of the next season so there is really no issue,” said Rachier to the Nation

Video Highlights: Gor Mahia vs Hussein Dey

Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay said in a post match interview that it is too early to celebrate anything. Though Gor Mahia have won at home, they must pick a few points away from home in order to progress to the next stage.

 

On Dennis Oliech

Coach Oktay says the club could have used the services of Dennis Oliech who was missing in action after a disagreement with club officials over his signing bonus.

“I missed Dennis (Oliech) very much. He is a professional player and his presence could have been an added advantage. I love the player and I missed him. I will call him tomorrow (Monday) because I want the impasse solved as quickly as possible,” Oktay told Goal

NA Hussein Dey threaten war in return leg

The Administrator of the official social media pages is quite unhappy at the reception that their team received in Kenya. They claim that their hosts did not properly facilitate training and transportation. They have promised to unleash hell on Gor Mahia as soon as Kogalo players land at the airport.

Below is a screen-shot with a rough translation