Governor Sonko rescues broke Gor


(FILE)Gor Mahia players celebrate one of their goals against Vegetarions during the CAF-Champions League ...
(FILE)Gor Mahia players celebrate one of their goals against Vegetarions during the CAF-Champions League preliminary tie at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County on February 10, 2018. Gor Mahia FC won 2-0.Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has come to the rescue of 16- time Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia by paying for the teams air tickets to Pretoria, South Africa to honour the return fixture of the Caf- Confederation Cup tie against Super sport United.
  • Gor had been stranded after the Government failed to release the funds for the tickets, while the club is walking a tight financial rope, leaving them between arock and a hard place.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has come to the rescue of 16- time Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia by paying for the teams air tickets to Pretoria, South Africa to honour the return fixture of the Caf- Confederation Cup tie against SuperSport United.

Gor had been stranded after the Government failed to release the funds for the tickets, while the club is walking a tight financial rope, leaving them between a rock and a hard place.

Confirming the developments, Gor boss Ambrose Rachier said: “It looks like the Governor Sonko has agreed to find for our air tickets and as we are speaking our representative are in his office waiting to complete the process.”

“We needed the tickets for the traveling contingent of 18 players, five members of the technical bench, a federation representative and six team officials.”

K’Ogalo had also faced a visa hitch at the South African embassy here in Nairobi which put their travel plans in  disarray . The team was penciled to fly out on Monday night for Pretoria ahead of the contest but were forced to halt the plans.

Lead striker Jacques Tuysinge and Ephraim Guikam will miss the tie after failing  to secure visas because of their short- term work permits with the Kenyan Premier League champions.

This comes as a big blow to Gor with the strikers’ goal being the difference between the two sides heading to the second leg. The Rwandese marksman has also scored three goals for the club in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) this season.

Head coach Dylan Kerr  said it will be difficult to make impact without the two, but kept faith in the available goal poachers.

“It’s a big blow to us, Jack and Ephraim are very influential players in our team, we will try and work with players who are available,” said  Kerr.

Besides the Rwandese and the Ivorian, holding midfielder Ernest Wendo is suspended for the clash after accumulating yellow cards , leaving Kerr with further midfield headache.

K’Ogalo will also be without auxiliary attacker Godfrey Walusimbi who is yet to resolve his contractual issues with the club, that first arose before their second leg clash with Tunisia’s Esperance before their relegation from the CAF Champions League.

“We will have to sweat blood, SuperSport is a massive club ,but we are determined to play for the pride of Kenya.

“We are not motivated by the money at stake, all we want to do is play for the team’s badge and for the national flag. That means everyone has to give 150 percent and we are hoping to come out victorious,” said a confident Kerr.

While Gor Mahia are enjoying top form in KPL being the only unbeaten side so far, their opponents are struggling in the South Africa’s PSL.

Since playing Gor at the Kenyatta Stadium Machakos, SuperSport have fired blanks   against  Orlando pirates (0-0)  last week on Wednesday and also recorded the same score line against  Cape Town City on Saturday.

Thus, the Pretoria based side is at number 14 in the 16-team league, with zone with 29 points from 27 games.

Gor jets out for South Africa at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, seeking at least a draw to qualify for the group stages of the continental club championship . The match will kick off at 8:00 pm local time on Wednesday.

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Story By John Kyanda
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