Rachier suspends secretary General Ocholla

There is discord between Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier and the Secretary General Sam Ocholla.
Additional reporting from Sportsplug

 

Gor Mahia has suspended club Secretary General Sam Ochola, over gross insubordination.
Gor Chair Ambrose Rachier, who made the announced at the 680 Hotel in Nairobi on Tuesday evening, said Ochola will cease from handling any club activities indefinitely.
The chairman also revealed that the decision to suspend the official has the blessings of ODM leader Raila Odinga, who is the club patron.
Sports Plug understands that Ochola has been suspended over his handling of the club’s row with the Football Kenya Federation.

Whereas the club has refused to reach an agreement with FKF over a broadcast deal with Startimes, Ochola went behind Rachier’s and wrote to Startimes agreeing to the deal.

“We Gor Mahia FC, members of FKF, are cognizant that on September 29, 2020, FKF entered into a media rights and commercial rights agreement [the agreement] with StarTimes [Kenya] Company Limited to be the exclusive broadcaster of the FKF Premier League for seven seasons [2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24, 2024-25, 2025-26 and 2026-27],” reads part of the letter sent to FKF on Tuesday.

The club has maintained that it knows its rights and it will not sign any document surrendering thoses rights to FKF.

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Nick Mwendwa threatens Gor Mahia

FKF President Nick Mwendwa has warned Gor Mahia and three other clubs that they risk being left out of the 2020-2021 League if they do not agree to his terms and conditions.

Additional reporting from goal.com

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has warned ‘rebel’ clubs they will not take part in the FKF Premier League if they don’t sign the undertaking to start the 2020-21 season.

The 18 clubs in the top-flight are supposed to sign a commitment with the federation which will allow sponsors to disburse money into their accounts in readiness for the start of the new campaign.

However, four clubs led by champions Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Stars, Zoo FC, and Mathare United are yet to sign the undertaking, and FKF president Nick Mwendwa has told Goal they face being kicked out of the league altogether.

“We only have one league in Kenya which is run by FKF, so I don’t know which league the four clubs will play in, it is either they sign or forget participating in the same.

“The 14 clubs that have signed the undertaking means they will have their matches aired live by broadcast partners StarTimes, so what will happen will happen to those that have not signed?

“Do you think StarTimes will air matches of teams that have not signed? It is very simple, they must sign to be with us or else, they will not be part of us.”

Already 14 clubs have signed the undertaking with the FKF to start the league, they are Kakamega Homeboyz, AFC Leopards, Bandari, Sofapaka, Western Stima, Bidco United, Nairobi City Stars, KCB, Nzoia Sugar, Kariobangi Sharks, Posta Rangers, Wazito, and Tusker.

On Sunday, the FKF issued a circular for testing all players and officials for Covid-19 ahead of the Premier League kick-off on November 28.

The four teams were not included in the schedule, which is set to kick off on November 23 and run through to November 25 in readiness for the first match of the season on Saturday.

According to the schedule obtained by Goal, the clubs to have their players and officials tested on November 23 are Bidco United, whose exercise will be held at Thika Stadium, Kariobangi Sharks (Utalii Grounds), KCB (Utalii Grounds), and Sofapaka at the same venue.

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It is time to outsource the management of Gor Mahia

Four officials working part time cannot handle the demands of a club of this stature adequately

Gor Mahia is yet again in dire streets, picking up from where they left off last season. Yet again the players are on strike due to non-payment of allowances. Things will likely only get worse and some players will be asking to be released soon.

Furthermore the club is in a coaching crisis as the coach Roberto Goncalves has been disqualified from local and international matches. It is now readily apparent that the four person Executive committee comprising of part time workers cannot manage a club of this stature. The four are also incapable of  raising the finances required to run this club. For that matter, expecting any four individuals who are working part time to manage a team of this stature is folly.

A previous article on this site has described what is known as “The Outsourcing Model” of team management.   In this model, the club would outsource all its financial and day to day  management to a reputable consulting firm like KPMG or Deloitte. This firm would be responsible for all the club’s revenue collection which includes sourcing for sponsors, soliciting  and managing member subscriptions, merchandize sales, gate collections and other revenue generating initiatives. The firm would be responsible for publishing periodic financial statements for the sake of transparency.

The firm would then be paid a portion of the revenue collected, such as 10%. Which means the more money they collect, the more they earn and the more the club earns. For the sake of transparency, this firm would also be responsible for paying players and the technical bench. Elected officials would be responsible for technical matters like hiring coaches and signing players. With the officials freed up from managing day to day issues such as payroll, they would have more time to focus on the technical aspects of the club.

Missed Opportunities

In the past few years, the club has attempted a number of revenue generating activities each of which has failed miserably. In 2019, the club announced eTicketing. But after one attempt, chairman Rachier gave up claiming that fans were somehow creating their own tickets on their mobile phones. A firm like KPMG would be better placed to manage such an initiative via the creation of mobile applications, and other high-tech methods for ticket sales.

eTicketing would enhance transparency unlike the current state. Part of the reason that attendance dropped was because of the perception that some officials were pocketing gate proceeds. This perception will be eliminated by having a reputable third party operate the club’s ticketing.

The biggest and most promising area of opportunity is in membership subscriptions. Currently, the club only has about 400 paying members because fans are afraid of giving their money to officials who are not required to account for the money. A reputable and transparent company like KPMG that is capable of publishing audited accounts will easily get 10,000 paying members. This would mean Ksh 10 million going into the coffers of Gor Mahia every month just from memberships.

Additionally, there are numerous Gor Mahia fans in the diaspora who will eagerly support the club financially if the club is run transparently. The amount of money that can be raised from both local and diaspora fans is significantly more than what any sponsor will give to the club.

They would also be better placed to manage other failed initiatives like Jersey sales, Gor Mahia bread, Gor Mahia water, Gor Mahia SACCO and other moribund initiatives. With their business expertise, they would be able to generate new revenue streams for the club. Furthermore, there are so many other avenues of revenue generation that Gor Mahia has not fully monetized including social media channels, In App purchases and so forth.

Below is an excerpt from the KPMG website regarding the mission of the company

KPMG Advisory professionals work with you to cut through the complexity of today’s rapidly changing marketplace. We leverage the knowledge and skills across our global network of firms to develop practical recommendations designed to help you work smarter, grow faster and compete stronger.

We are trusted advisors to the world’s organizations. They choose us because we are known for our talented people, technical expertise, deep industry insights and our ability to get the job done.

The primary benefit of this model is that consulting companies like Deloitte and KPMG have a reputation to uphold. Their entire business model relies on integrity. They will not risk being involved in corruption because it will ruin their business. Also their business model relies on delivering good results for their clients.

Merits

1. The increase in transparency will encourage fans to contribute more, attend more matches and buy club merchandize.
2. The club will be run by professionals who understand who understand how to market and promote the club as well as concepts like sales generation, merchandizing, pricing and other business concepts. This is unlike the current state where the club is run by elected officials who try as they may, are simply not qualified to run a club of this stature.

Precedent

In July of 2020, Kenya Rugby League announced a 10-year commercial and strategic partnership with Homeboyz Entertainment Limited.

The partnership will see the entertainment company handle the Federations commercial and business components in the country relating to the premier league competitions.

HEL will assist KRL Premier League in conducting reviews of commercial operations which include sponsorships, consumer-driven revenue, licensing, event organization, branding, marketing and media.

This agreement is still in its infancy and we have yet to see the fruits of this arrangement. However it is a step in the right direction. Full time professionals who understand how to market and promote a league or a team are infinitely better than elected officials.

Planning for the future

Gor Mahia has existed for 52 years yet in those 52 years, it has not acquired any significant assets. Club legend Sammy Owino “Kempes” was recently interviewed and he said that when he joined Gor Mahia as a secondary schoolboy around 1976, the club officials of the time were seriously discussing purchasing a piece of land within Nairobi on which to build a training ground. Here we are 44 years later and talk of a training ground is still a pipe dream. Had they followed through back then when land was affordable, this club’s financial position would be significantly better.

Kempes moved to the USA in 1982 on a football scholarship. Upon completing his studies, he purchased a piece of land on which he built his own football academy known as Advanced Youth Soccer Educational System (AYSES).  Today the AYSES has grown and has a piece of land that includes 6 full size football field and 8 mini football fields. See image below.

They have youth development programs all the way from age 5 to age 19 and also generate income by renting their facilities to football teams. Kempes is the Director. Tom Odhiambo, a former Gor Mahia player is one of the coaches. Gideon Ochieng, another former Gor Mahia player has also worked for AYSES.

The kind of visionary thinking that saw Kempes purchase a piece of land for his initiative cannot happen with elected officials. However an organization like KPMG can be charged with growing Gor Mahia’s asset base. They will grow Gor Mahia by purchasing appreciating assets all over the country. With time these assets will appreciate in value and Gor Mahia will eventually be able to generate enough money to purchase a training ground in Nairobi.

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Sammy Omollo to be stand in coach in Kigali

Former Gor Mahia defensive stopper and coach Sammy Omollo “Pamzo” will be on the bench for Gor Mahia. “Pamzo” is the current coach of Posta Rangers and was the Gor Mahia head coach prior to James Sianga. In his playing days, he was one of the best defensive stoppers ever to play in Kenya. Perhaps second only to Bobby Ogolla.

Additional reporting from goal.com

The tactician has been appointed on an interim basis ahead of K’Ogalo’s continental assignment in Kigali
Posta Rangers coach Sammy Omollo will be in the technical area as Gor Mahia play APR Rwanda in the first preliminary round of the Caf Champions League.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned current coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves for not having Caf A coaching qualification papers. K’Ogalo have now acted and decided to bring onboard the Mailmen tactician as they sort out their issue with the Brazilian.

“Gor Mahia have agreed with a Kenyan premier League coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo to be the stand-in coach for the team against APR of Rwanda in a Caf preliminary tie,” the club confirmed on Sunday evening.

“This is coming after CAF disqualified head coach Roberto Oliviera for ‘lack’ of required qualification, as per Caf guidelines, to lead the team in any Caf assignment – according to new regulations.”

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier confirmed the former defender joined on a temporary basis as the club settles the problem with their full-time coach.

“We have settled on Sammy Omollo to be the stand-in coach for the team in Rwanda as we try to sort out the current coach’s issue with Caf,” the administrator stated.

“That means, Sammy, will lead the technical bench as Robertinho is not allowed to be on the touchline until the issue is sorted.”

Ironically, the two coaches met in a friendly game on Saturday at the Jamhuri Grounds in Nairobi, where Omollo managed to lead his team to victory.

It was the Mailmen who started strongly and their efforts paid dividends when former Ulinzi Stars forward Elijah Mwanzia connected with a rebound. K’Ogalo looked lost and were uncharacteristically off colour.

The new K’Ogalo coach has been in football management for the last 25 years and his arrival was expected to help Gor Mahia launch an advanced Caf Champions League campaign in the 2020/21 season.

The Kenyan champions will leave the country later in the week for Rwanda to play the hosts in Kigali.

The aggregate winner will advance to the next stage of the competition. Gor Mahia have never reached the Caf Champions League group stage.

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Robertinho is disqualified from local matches as players refuse to train

Aside from not being on the bench during matchdays, Gor Mahia’s new coach Roberto Goncalves Oliveira will also not be able to oversee any local matches.  This according to FKF president Nick Mwendwa

“Gor Mahia presented the coach’s papers and we then sent them to Caf and we have seen their reaction. Caf is very clear that even if the papers are put through the equalisation process, they do not meet the standards.
“That means he will not be on the bench for all Gor Mahia matches including the Champions League and the Premier League.

“He can only coach at the training ground or do some consultancy away from the touchline but he will never be allowed to be on the touchline during games.” said Mwendwa to goal.com

The statement from CAF read:
“In respect of the above, we would like to communicate that as per the coaching licenses information received from your participating clubs the head coach of Gor Mahia Roberto Oliveira does not meet the above requirements and consequently will not be allowed to sit on the touchline during the matches of the Caf inter-club competitions of 2020/21

Gor Mahia searching for local coach

According to secretary general Sam Ochola talks are at an advanced stage for either Posta Rangers coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo or KCB’s Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno to temporarily lead the team in their continental assignments.

“We initially had five people (Jacob Mulee, Francis Kimanzi, Twahir Muhiddin, Zedekiah Otieno, Sammy Omollo) who have those requirements, but we have zeroed in on Omollo and Otieno. We are trying to get one of them on a temporary basis because they are the only ones who are available, ” Ochola told Standard Sports yesterday.

“We are still negotiating with FKF and their clubs. FKF are involved because they have to cover us as the national governing body. Therefore, our fans should be patient and trust the office;we are going to sort out this mess.”

Player Go slow

Ocholla also admitted that that the players have failed to train the last few days over unpaid salary, the official revealed they are already in negotiations with another sponsor to come on board.

“It is true the players have been on a go slow. We haven’t paid them one month salary because we don’t have money. But we are expecting to get in the coming week and settle their salary before travelling to Kigali,” said Ochola.

“We are currently in negotiations with a new non-betting sponsor who should come in by January to cater for our short falls.”

Asked about the fate of their Brazilian coach, Ochola said: “We are going to resolve the issue and the coach is going to be given his documentation hopefully by next week. It was just a small oversight from our side but this federation is going to standardise his certification.

“We have already met FKF president Nick Mwendwa and he has advised us on how to go about it.”

Nuttall says he is available


Meanwhile former Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall took to his social media pages to remind Gor Mahia that he is available.

Very experienced Uefa Pro Licence coach with Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Sports Science and Physical Education available for coaching, advising, directing and scouting worldwide,” reads his message

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Aduda and Bolo say Gor Mahia officials are incompetent

Confederation of African Football (Caf) has written to the FKF and the club asking to see his CAFA papers, or else he will not be allowed to handle the team during the CAF Champions League.

Following the fiasco, former Kogalo treasurer says that nobody at Kogalo knows what to do.

“Part of the requirements is the qualification of the head coach, all have had qualifications from different countries and none has ever had a Caf A licence but we have always made sure that the papers they hold are equalized as per Caf requirements,” part of the statement by Bolo on goal.com

Bolo insists that the club officials should have done their homework before hiring Robertinho.

“The same coach, [Robertinho], has handled clubs in Tunisia and Rayon up to the Caf Confederation Cup quarter-finals. Does it mean that those clubs did the right thing? We seem to have at the moment none in the club who knows what to do!”

What should have been done is to accredit the coach with the technical department of FKF,” Bolo continued.

“A circular was sent out to all the premier league and super league clubs to that effect but unfortunately we never submitted papers for the head coaches accreditation!

“Secondly, the club should have engaged FKF to get in touch with the Brazilian Football Association to authenticate the coach’s A license and request for his equalization!

“We still have one week to go and to ensure that we have a coach on the bench with the Caf requirements.” continued Bolo

Aduda: Gor Mahia officials are asleep

Former CEO Omondi Aduda who resigned from the post to contest for a position at the FKF told goal.com that someone was asleep on the job at Gor Mahia. Aduda was replaced by Raymond Oruo whose credentials are dubious and who lacks the depth of knowledge required to run a football team.

“Someone at Gor Mahia slept on the job,” Aduda told Goal when asked why Caf had reacted that way. “Caf did not question his [Oliveira] qualifications, do you know that none of the foreign coaches have a Caf A license, and what usually happens is that the licenses they hold must be equalized in tandem with the Caf licensing criteria?

“Caf doesn’t have problems with his [Oliveira] certificates, that is not right, even those other foreign coaches that we have had, what you do is you send their papers for equalization so that those certifications they get from their countries are equalized at every given level.

“Caf through club licensing keeps on reviewing every day, so for these, they now insist that the head coaches, particularly those for clubs participating in Champions League and Confederation Cup should have improved to hold an equivalent of Caf A license, which all the coaches, should get because the Caf A license is being conducted in Africa only.

“But if you employ a coach from outside Africa, he must have a Caf B license or an equivalent if it is Uefa pro, for instance, it is better than Caf A but you will pass with it as Caf A, then there is Uefa B like now Oliveira has an A license from Brazil and so what someone should have done is to equate the license with Caf.”

Aduda continued: “Sometimes we always tend to ignore things and the biggest problem is those people masquerading as football administrators and they don’t know the rules and regulations, and they ignore everything, remember the FKF gave a circular that all Premier League and Super League clubs should accredit their coaches, and what Gor Mahia officials did, they slept on the job and did not do that.

“If they did that by even paying Sh100, 000 as requested by FKF, the papers of Oliveira should have been fixed at that time, which someone did not do.

“Now the best that ought to have been done is to take his Caf A license from Brazil, write to the Brazilian federation and ask them one if the license is valid back home, and two what is the equivalence of the license, because on the letter from Caf it is a B license, which is equivalent to a Caf C, and while in Rwanda he did a Caf C course, so that is the actual position.

“And Gor Mahia are now to blame for the whole saga because they have officials who don’t understand football, you have a secretary-general, who doesn’t understand football, you have a former rugby man, who has now been put in as the CEO, sometimes you wonder, and when I was in office and doing all these things people thought we don’t know what we are doing.

The former rugby man Aduda is referring to is new CEO Raymond Oruo

“We should have known all these [issues] and fix them, we must keep abreast of the changes that happen, if you are in football you must keep abreast with the changes like now I know there are officials in Gor Mahia if you ask them how many substitutions are allowed per match, and they don’t know and they pretend to lead football.

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Coach Oliveira disqualified by CAF


Gor Mahia could soon begin the hunt for a new coach after it emerged Friday that Brazilian Roberto Oliveira does not have the requisite documents to oversee club competitions organised by Confederation of African Football (Caf).
Oliveira, who took over from Steven Polack last month, is a holder of B License from the Brazilian federation whose equivalent is Caf C license.

Coaches overseeing Caf competitions must have Caf A license, Uefa Pro license or a Pro license from other confederations.
“We would like to communicate that as per the coaching license information received for your engaged clubs, the head coach of the below mentioned club do not meet the above requirement and will not be allowed to sit on the bench during the matches of the CAF interclub competition 2021,” read a letter from Caf addressed to Football Kenya Federation.

The 60-year-old will therefore not oversee Gor’s Caf Champions league preliminary tie against APR of Rwanda scheduled for November 28 with the return leg a week later in Nairobi.
“We are looking for a stand-in coach but a decision whether to look for a new coach or allow Oliveira to continue then assign a coach for our Caf games will be reached after a meeting of the secretariat. The issue at the moment is to look for a stand-in coach for next weekend’s game,” club CEO Raymond Oruo told Nation Sport.
Gor are expected to leave for Rwanda on November 25.

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League kickoff date is uncertain

Nick Mwendwa

Due to a disagreement about revenue sharing and due to rising Covid 19 cases, the start of the 2020-2021 is in limbo

Additional reporting from the Nation

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections may be long over, but the beautiful game’s administrators are still at war.

A month after FKF President Nick Mwendwa was re-elected in an exercise marred by court battles and squabbles, the bickering between football administrators has shifted to the control of an estimated Sh350 million a year budget for Kenyan Premier League clubs.

This role was initially handled by the Kenya Premier League (KPL) Limited but the company’s 17-year old mandate expired last September and Mwendwa refused to renew it.

The KPL has since been replaced by a new outfit, dubbed FKF Premier League Management Committee, which consists a six-member team chaired by Kenya Commercial Bank football club chairman Azu Ogola.

Under this new outfit, Mwendwa suggests the league’s yet to be unveiled sponsors, namely StarTimes and BetKing, will wire Sh350 million annual sponsorship cash to federation accounts.

Surrender economic rights

FKF will, in turn, transfer an estimated Sh8 million a year to each of the 18 clubs in this competition in form of grants and retain the rest to help in payment of referees, handle administrative issues and pay off some commission to those who brokered the sponsorship deals.

But there’s a catch.

These clubs have to surrender all their economic rights to the federation.

“We have worked hard to bring sponsors on board and the next step is to ensure our top-flight league, which provides the biggest share of national team players, is run in a professional manner,” the FKF boss told Nation Sport.

“This week, we will wire Sh2 million to each club signs an undertaking for us to manage the rights and the competition. We also have imported a golden trophy that will be handed to the team that wins the league.”

But then a number of clubs, including Gor Mahia, Tusker, Ulinzi Stars, Mathare United, Kakamega Homeboyz, and Zoo Kericho, will hear none of this.

“That money is for Premier League clubs. What Mwendwa now wants to do is akin to someone giving his wife all his salary and then borrowing from her money for cigarettes,” argues Zoo Kericho FC chairman Ken Ochieng’.

Ochieng’ insists Mwendwa should, as he promised during the campaign period, facilitate the registration of a new company to manage the league and sponsorship money.

The league clubs will then pay the federation a commission equivalent to 10 percent of the sponsorship money.

Ochieng, Gor Mahia’s Ambrose Rachier, Mathare’s Bob Munro, Ulinzi’s Col. Erick Oloo, and Tusker’s David Aduda also maintain they will not surrender their rights to the federation.

“The federation’s responsibility should end at appointing referees, producing fixtures, and settling disputes. There’s a big distinction between club rights and competition rights. When we compete in the domestic cup, we will never ask for the rights or question anything. But in the league, the club has as much a say in what happens,” adds Ochieng’.

Rising Covid-19 cases

All this while, the players, who are the main stakeholders but have not played competitively since March, languish in uncertainty and poverty as some of them have not been paid for the past five months.

The government last week announced the rising Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country make it difficult for football and other contact sports to resume.

This life and death scenario, it appears, is not among a priority for some of these football administrators who are struggling to distinguish between lives, livelihoods and profits.

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Muguna: We are ready for the league

Gor Mahia skipper has put aside the disappointment of the 2022 AFCON campaign and is ready for the start of the 2020-2021 season.

The top tier competition was initially primed to kickoff this Friday but has been pushed back by a week as the federation deals with ‘logistical challenges’.

“We have no say over when the league will restart. We are just preparing for the kick off and this time round we are targeting an early win. As I speak, the team is very much prepared,” said Muguna to Citizen Sport.

Muguna says the players are prepared and are raring to go.

“Players are curious to get back to the field of play. We need total fitness ahead of the CAF Champions League assignments and the local league as well,” he continued.

Gor Mahia will start their league campaign against Tusker.

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Akumu: I can’t choose AFC instead of Gor Mahia


Former Gor Mahia midfield ace Anthony Akumu, who is currently at Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa’s says Gor Mahia is his natural home because it is the team that gave him a platform. He therefore cannot accept an offer from AFC if Gor Mahia are also interested.

Additional reporting from goal.com

The 28-year-old was part of the Harambee Stars squad that played the Afcon double-header against Comoros
Kenya international Anthony Akumu has boldly stated he will still choose to play for Gor Mahia even if he gets a better offer from bitter rivals AFC Leopards.

The lanky Kaizer Chiefs midfielder played for K’Ogalo between 2010 and 2014 before leaving for Sudan’s top-tier side Al Khartoum. Later on, the now 28-year-old joined the Zambia Super League side Zesco United before going to South Africa.

Despite being out of K’Ogalo for the last six years, the defensive midfielder, who can also play as a central defender, says there is no love lost between him and the Kenyan outfit who gave him a platform in the top-tier.

Guardiola no closer to new Man City deal with time starting to run out
“I have massive respect for Leopards, but to be honest, I cannot choose them over K’Ogalo no matter how good their offer is,” Akumu told Goal.

“[Ingwe] are a good team, actually one of the biggest in Kenya but I just cannot play for them.

“Gor Mahia is a team that gave me a chance, it is my home, and if I have an opportunity to get back home, for sure I will.”

The soft-speaking Akumu also stated he is not yet done and his focus is on improving as a player.

“I want to be involved as much as possible, I want to keep learning and it needs more hard work,” Akumu added.

“Yes, I am happy for my achievements, but it is not enough, I want to do more at the club and national team level.”

Akumu was part of the Harambee Stars squad for the group Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying double-header against Comoros where the first one ended 1-1. Then the islanders claimed a 2-1 win in the second game.

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