Voice of Sport

President Uhuru gives Gor Mahia tickets to travel for Kagame Cup

‘I will be in Dar es Salaam in hope of seeing Gor play this year’s Kagame Cup final,’ says FKF chairmanship aspirant Gor Semelang’o who added that he had stepped up his quest to lead Kenya football out of dire straits. ‘It is currently led by mediocrity. We need radical changes and hard work in order to make up for a lot of lost time’


AFTER football authorities in Kenya refusing to pay for their champion club, Gor Mahia, to travel to Tanzania for the Cecafa Kagame Cup championship, President Uhuru Kenyatta has now provided 30 tickets for the team’s trip.

In contrast, the Somalia Football Federation [SFF] announced that its representatives, Heegan FC of Mogadishu, will arrive in Dar es Salaam with a delegation of 24 people early Thursday morning. The Somali FA has facilitated all necessary travel arrangements for the Heegan squad.

Training at Banadir

“We provided tickets, as agreed in previous Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] executive committee and congress meetings in Nairobi, Cairo and Zurich” SFF media and communications manager, Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar, said in a Press statement.

“Since they clinched the national league championship title at the end of the season, Heegan have been engaged in daily training at Stadium Banadir in preparations for the Cecafa Kagame Cup. They are raring to go.

Consistent

“The SFF facilitated everything for the team to ensure their being competitive in the tournament because Somalia has never missed a single Cecafa competition, even at the worst of times in our country, and we want to keep that record alive,” Abokar said.

The Heegan team’s key players include a familiar name in Kenya, that of Nigerian import Harry Gentle, who previously played in the Kenyan Premier League for Sofapaka, AFC Leopards and Muhoroni Youth.

Back-to-back

Meanwhile the Gor Mahia fraternity breathed a sigh of relief after President Uhuru’s donation of air tickets enabling them to take a large contingent to Dar es Salaam. Gor play in an epic opening day fixture on Saturday against arguably Tanzania biggest soccer club, Young Africans, five-time time winners of the Kagame Cup and last back-to-back champs in 2011 and 2012 when the tournament was held in Tanzania.

President Uhuru’s offer was availed to Gor Mahia through the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture. A total of Sh2, 107,373 was also raised during an impromptu function on Tuesday night at Nairobi Railway Club where club supporters met to bail out the team from financial woes.

Motivate

One of the guests, Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria who has recently sensationally hit headlines on the political scene, led donors with a contribution of Sh200, 000. He won applause when he said: “[Kenyans] might disagree on many issues but not Gor Mahia.”

Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier thanked President Uhuru “for his kind gesture. This will motivate the players to perform well after it appeared earlier that the trip [to Dar es Salaam] would hit a snag,” he said.

Stadium

Kuria said that in his Gatundu South Constituency he had initiated the refurbishment of a stadium fit for Gor Mahia to stage some of their Kenyan Premier League [KPL] matches next season.

The MP also said that he would vie for election as the National Executive Committee [NEC] member of the Football Kenya Football [FKF], representing his region during the federation elections later in the year.

Omdurman

Two aspirants for chairmanship of FKF in the forthcoming polls also attended the Gor fund raiser. Gor Semelang’o, former Presidential appointee as [Kenya] Youth Development Fund boss, donated Sh100, 000 and Nick Mwendwa, chairman of the FKF-League side Kariobangi Sharks gave Sh200, 000.

On Wednesday morning, Semelang’o said he wished Gor Mahia success at the Cecafa Kagame, a tournament the club last won 30 years ago [1985, beating compatriots AFC Leopards in a Final in Omdurman].

Passion

“Hopefully, I will be in Dar es Salaam in about a fortnight to see Gor play this year’s Kagame Cup final,” he said. He added that he had stepped up his quest to lead the FKF “because our football is in dire straits, led by mediocrity. We need radical changes and hard work in order to make up for a lot of lost time to lift up our players, clubs and the national team. I have a passion for football and ability of top class management and I know we shall succeed when we put the right people manage FKF.”

Other contributions from the fundraiser were:

Sam Okoaga – Sh200, 000

Executive committee Gor Mahia – Sh110, 000

Peter Kenneth – Sh100, 000

Tom Odoyo – Sh100, 000

Governor Cyprian Awiti – Sh100, 000

Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye – Sh50, 000

FKF President Sam Nyamweya – Sh50, 000

Engineer Eric Nyamunga – Sh25, 000

– Additional reporting by gormahiafc