‘I feel sorry for Gor Mahia’ - AFC Leopards coach explains what saddens him about Kenyan champions

Gor Mahia

FOOTBALL ‘I feel sorry for Gor Mahia’ - AFC Leopards coach explains what saddens him about Kenyan champions

Joel Omotto 07:32 - 27.07.2023

The newly-appointed Ingwe tactician feels it will be hard for K’Ogalo to go again after the latest development.

AFC Leopards head coach Tom Juma has expressed his disappointment at seeing Gor Mahia miss out on the CAF Champions League after they were locked out due to the club’s inability to pay money owed to former players on time.

CAF conducted the Champions League draw on Tuesday but Kenyan champions Gor Mahia were not part of the teams, having seen their club license revoked last week under Article 16 8(b) of the CAF Club licensing regulations for “violating its obligation” in paying former players on time.

The development arose after the club failed to settle the dues of three of its former players, namely Adama Keita, Jules Ulimwengu, and Sando Yangayay, the latter who took the matter to CAF after the club failed to honour its agreement.

While Gor belatedly made the payments, it was way past the deadline and even the Football Kenya Federation’s efforts to slot in Tusker FC did not succeed, leaving the country without a representative in the continental competition to the dismay of Juma.

“I feel sorry for Gor Mahia, they have been consistent throughout the season, won the league on the last day of the season then to be told they cannot play continental football is very heartbreaking,” Juma told Pulse Sports.

“In fact, you need players with character to go again because it is demoralising to work hard for 10 months to win the league and then you don’t see the fruits. We need to put our house in order and we rely on the federation to put in place the right structures.”

With Gor Mahia out, Kakamega Homeboyz will be the country’s representatives on the continent as they play in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup, starting from Preliminary round, where they will face Libya’s Al Hilal.

Juma has blamed Gor’s woes on poor management of football in the country which he feels has also spilled over to the national team Harambee Stars.

“It is not good because a lot of things are not going in the right way. If you judge our football and compare the last 10 or 20 years, we have been regressing,” Juma added.

“A good example is the Four Nations Tournament the national team went to play last month in Mauritius (which Kenya lost to). Teams like Djibouti winning such a tournament when Kenya are there. These are teams we used to beat 13-0 but now it does not look good.”

The Champions League preliminary round matches will take place between August 18 and 20 while the Confederation Cup will be held from August 25-27.