Oktay: No need to punish Kahata and Otieno over airport photos
- Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay has come out guns blazing to defend his players whose photos were circulated on social media lying on the floor at the airport lounge in Doha, Qatar in the run up to their second leg of the CAF Confederation quarter final match against Morocco’s RS Berkane.
- Oktay says the issue of Philemon Otieno and Francis Kahata was long fixed and they are now united as a family, differing with the club boss intent of punishing the players.
Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay has come out guns blazing to defend his players whose photos were circulated on social media lying on the floor at the airport lounge in Doha, Qatar in the run up to their second leg of the CAF Confederation quarter final match against Morocco’s RS Berkane.
Oktay says the issue of Philemon Otieno and Francis Kahata was long fixed and they are now united as a family, differing with the club boss intent of punishing the players.
Club chairman Ambrose Rachier had vowed to punish indisciplined players following the timeline of events that led to the exit of Gor Mahia from the continental tournament.
“Every family has problems and our problems were long fixed. I don’t have issues with Philemon and Kahata. We are now united as a family and I don’t even remember what happened at the airport,’’explained Oktay.
Rachier had last Saturday in a radio sports show with our sister station Ramogi FM indicated that he would crack the whip on rogue players who “conjured up malicious pictures to evoke sympathy and fake suffering’’ at Doha International Airport in Qatar, specifically Kenyan internationals Francis Kahata and Philemon Otieno.
Oktay, choosing to borrow from football analogy, said that a player can trip and fall but need to rise up immediately and continue with the game and thinks the long and tiresome journey to Morocco could have spurred the players’ actions.
“We already talked to the players and in the spirit of togetherness and as a way forward on the matter, I don’t think they deserve any kind of punishment after a lengthy talk and warning.’’
Although he agrees that the 7-1 aggregate loss was painful, Oktay thinks the boys should be lauded for the far they reached, making history as the first ever Kenyan team to cruise to the CAF Confederations Cup quarter finals.
The Turk also cleared the air on his anticipated exit from the KPL saying despite receiving good offers from abroad, he has decided to stay at Gor Mahia until the end of his contract.
“I am not leaving Gor Mahia. I need to make the boys better and I still have one year on my contract,’’ he assured.
Speculations on the looming exit of the Turk-Cypriot has been rife on social media after he earlier indicated that he had received six offers from abroad, before adding that his fate was in the hands of the club management.
The coach who took over from Briton Dylan Kerr who left the club last December is headed for his first league title with the local giants as K’Ogalo top the league charts on 60 points from 27 matches with seven left to go.
Whichever way his future takes, Oktay has safeguarded his name in Gor’s folklore and indeed Kenya’s football books as the first coach ever to take a Kenyan team to the CAF Confederation Cup quarter finals, but he attributes this success to the entire Gor Mahia family.
“When Gor Mahia is successful, it is not about the coach. It is about team work; from the chairman and his office, the technical bench, players and supporters. I can’t take this credit alone,” he said.
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