In a wide ranging interview, Chairman Ambrose Rachier told Citizen Sports why he is finally exiting from the Gor Mahia chairmanship after 11 years. he also discussed his efforts to obtain land
Rachier explained that he was leaving for the following reasons:
1. He did not like to be like other African leaders who overstay
2. The sports act calls for sports administrators to hold their posts for two terms of 5 years each
3. Some fans have been agitating for his exit, even calling him Mugabe. Rachier considers this the biggest insult of all since it infers old age and staleness.
4. Some people claim that Rachier has run out of ideas and that they think they can run the club better than Rachier.
5. He wants to give all the agitators a chance to see if they can run the club.
Rachier was then asked if some of his critics might have a point since the club still does not have a training ground and other has no foundation. But Rachier responded by saying that Gor Mahia is first and foremost a football club and his main task was to win titles which he did, winning 6 titles. he said it would have been seven if Gor Mahia were not unfairly docked points in 2016.
He also said that Gor Mahia is the only team that played Everton, Hull City and the group stage of continental events.
He was asked about what structures he has put in place to give the club a strong foundation and a strong future but he insisted that his core business at the club is to win titles.
He also took credit for the return of fans since when he took over the chairmanship, the club had no fans and played to mostly empty stadia.
He also took credit for the fact that the club now has a sponsor. According to him, sponsors only came because the club was run. As well as a SACCO that enables fans to borrow money.
He said that he is busy looking for a title deed to build a stadium.
He says that the club has land at Kasarani which was given to the club by former president Daniel arap Moi
He is also partnering with Turkish airlines which he says will help the club with the construction of a stadium.
Asked why he has not been able to get the title deed despite being a lawyer himself. He says the land title deed was in Embakassi and is already occupied by squatters. So he says he is now pursuing the Kasarani land.
He says that he is not interested in pursuing the chairmanship of the FKF.
On the departure of Shakava, Kahata, Tuyisenge. He said on Tuyisenge that the club has made an offer from Petro Atletico of Angola and the club has accepted the offer. On Shakava, he says he is still under contract for 8 months. But the club would be open to offers. On Kahata, his contract is ending in June. He is open to letting Kahata go if he gets a better offer.
Asked why the club does not negotiate with players before their contract ends, he says the club tells players that anyone who wants to leave should just inform the club and those who want to renegotiate a contract renewal should also approach the club. In other words, the club is not proactive in terms of renewing contracts of good players before they leave.
Shaban Odhoji has been having a good run between the posts. But on Thursday against KCB Fans faulted him for the goals especially the third one where he was caught out of position. However Coach Oktay is adamant that Gor Mahia would have won that game if they took their chances.
I can’t blame my keeper for those mistakes because they play as a team. Why is it that when strikers miss chances in any given match, they are not at fault but when a keeper concedes a goal, he has committed a mistake?” Oktay told goal.com
Oktay is seeking to build Odhoji’s confidence so that the custodian can build on his good run.
“Odhoji has been marvellous for us in the last few matches and we cannot crucify him just for one or two mistakes. He was fantastic in the second half of the season, we did not concede and I like his attitude because he always leads the team from behind.” he continued.
Oktay has his work cut out to sharpen the attack
“We were on top in the second period, I lost count of the chances we created. I guess we had around seven or eight chances that my strikers could not put away. Mustafa (Francis) missed four and scored one, Jacques Tuyisenge missed two and I think Boniface Omondi squandered another,” said Oktay
Oktay knows that Gor Mahia cannot afford to relax since Sofapaka are breathing down their neck, only six points behind. Gor Mahia cannot afford another slip up against Westerm Stima on Sunday.
“It was a game we deserved to win but when you don’t use your chances, be assured of dropping points and that is what happened to us. I am happy with the draw because KCB also played well and never gave us time to play our game.” he concluded.
Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay said in a press conference that Gor Mahia is still in the stone age as far as technology. He says other teams in Africa such as Zamalek have technology to track key statistics like how much distance is covered by each player, how many touches they have, how many passes they complete etc, how many tackles they make. All these are crucial in assessing a player’s performance.
Furthermore, Oktay says that Petro Atletico, whom Gor Mahia recently eliminated, has a training ground with several pitches, unlike Gor Mahia whose training ground (camp Toyoyo), is limited to only one field. All this puts himself and the team at a severe disadvantage. Which is why Gor Mahia’s performance in reaching the quarter-finals of the CAF cup ought to be hailed
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
Mike Okinyi: Gor Mahia is the first team from Africa to play at Liverpool. Nizigiyimana: The team is very happy and thanks the sponsor for this glorious opportunity Shakava: As a team we have trained well for this opportunity. A chance to showcase our talent. The weather is not favourable. We will not put pressure on ourselves. We will just relax and play. We promise the fans that we will enjoy the game and play well.
As Gor Mahia prepare to take on Young Africans of Tanzania in the 2018 CAF Confederations cup, its worth taking a trip down memory lane to witness and recall Gor Mahia’s first ever sojourn into continental football. Their first ever continental opponents was a club known as Burri Khartoum of Sudan.
One player who is easily recognizable is James Sianga who is second in line as the team walks into the field. The players are greeted by The Minister for Cooperatives and Social services, Ronald Ngala. The stadium is packed to the rafters. Many aspects of City stadium have not changed since then. Most notably the residential homes behind the stadium that provide an excellent view into the stadium. And the terraces at Russia have not changed.
Gor Mahia earned the right to play in the 1969 Africa champions cup by virtue of having won the Kenyan league in 1968, the year of formation of the club. Gor Mahia had been formed in 1968, folding Luo Union FC and Luo Sports club and also recruiting numerous players from Kisumu Hotstars.
The local football scene was shambolic in 1969. Minister Ronald Ngala, disbanded the Kenya Football Association and also suspended the national league. Thus Gor Mahia were in danger of lacking match fitness when they played Burri. To mitigate this, they embarked on a countrywide tour to play friendly matches.
But Gor Mahia was also undergoing a civil war with certain members of the club executive committee fighting to take over the club and rename it Luo Union FC.
1969 Continental matches.
The opening round of the 1969 Champions cup were played in September. Gor Mahia won the first leg 4-2 in Khartoum. However in the return leg, Gor Mahia played rather poorly, losing 0-1 at City Stadium in front of a large partisan crowd. It marked the first of many instances where Gor Mahia parlayed an excellent away record.
Gor Mahia thus qualified for the next round where they faced off with Ismaily of Egypt. They drew 1-1 at home before losing 1-3 in Cairo. Ismaily went on to win the Africa champions cup in 1969.
Among the players who featured for Gor Mahia in this campaign were James Sianga, John Otieno “Hatari”, Josphat Okello “Smart”, William Ouma “Chege”, Arthur Omondi, Paul Ndula, Samson Odore, Joseph “Mwalimu” Okeyo, Walter Molo, Steve “McQueen” Yongo, Daniel Nicodemus Arudhi, John Wambudo and Chris Obure, the former senator of Kisii county. They were coached by Paul Odhiambo, the first ever coach at the club.
Gor Mahia’s first continental campaign was creditable considering what the club had to overcome which included the lack of a domestic league, infighting within the club an infighting at national level which led to the disbandment of both the KFA and the league.
It is also said that players were significantly affected by the death of Tom Mboya who had been buried in an emotional ceremony only weeks earlier.