K'Ogalo have been knocked out of the CAF Champions League.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Barry Otieno has revealed they reached out to CAF to use some of the grant money it pays the federation annually to help Gor Mahia solve its issue with Sando Yangayay.
On Tuesday 18 July, Yangayay’s agent reported the club citing that they had failed to honor their payment agreement on time with the player.
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Tusker were already granted their CAF license alongside Homeboyz and Gor in mid-June.
This left FKF’s First Instance Board with no choice but to strip them of their license for violating Article 60 of the CAF Men’s Club Licensing Regulations, which states that any club applying for a license must prove that it has no overdue payables toward current and former employees as at 31st March of the year in which the CAF club competitions commence.
As a result, Gor Mahia will not be eligible to play in the CAF Champions League next season.
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“People need to understand that regardless of what has happened to Gor Mahia, we are on the same side,” Otieno told Radio 47.
“If Gor Mahia do well in the continental competitions, the Federation usually reaps financial rewards. It is therefore our interest that Gor are in the competition because as we speak, they have already been eliminated by CAF.
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Club officials are working round the clock to pursue every possible solution to their embarrassing situation.
“We even had a meeting with CAF, a senior Gor Mahia official in one of the hotels in Nairobi. A senior government official - I will not go into details for now-.
“CAF asked, ‘where is the undertaking by the players saying that they received the funds or you reached an agreement with them?’, which is what they failed to do.
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“We have held discussions as the federation on the undertaking and saying that our suspension will take effect. There are procedures and processes at CAF that state that if the club cannot pay these players, the federation can.
“There are things that are preventing this from happening. First, it was FIFA’s decision, not CAF's. FIFA made a verdict that called for the players to reach an agreement with CAF. Before we have any form of undertaking, both parties have to sit down and agree on the payments. We have not made that step with the players.
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Otieno has explained that there was an effort by FKF to allow for CAF to give the players part of the annual payment grants it receives from the body to help solve the problem.
“We told CAF that they had our money and asked them to grant these players some of the money using that grant. CAF is supposed to give us something in January after giving us something little.
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Sirkal overthrown: FKF explain intrigues behind revocation of Gor Mahia’s CAF Champions League license.
Gor was not able to honor the payments nor enter into new agreements with the aforementioned players within the set CAF timelines, leaving FKF'S First Instance Body with no choice but to revoke its license.
“However, the players have to agree to it. We have not sat down with any player and signed an agreement. If we had found these players to sign themselves, it would have been easier, the problem is that they are dealing with agents, which is a challenge. Remember that the agreement is between Gor Mahia and the player.”
Missing out on the CAF Champions League will be a huge blow for Gor, who won the ticket after pipping Tusker to lift the league title against City Stars on the last day of the season.