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FKF turns down Gor Mahia request to have APR match moved by a day

The Kenyan champions are currently stranded in Nairobi as they don’t have air tickets for a trip to Kigali

Gor Mahia have had their request to push Saturday’s Caf Champions League match against APR of Rwanda moved by a day rejected in a move that could see the team award their opponents a walk-over.

On Wednesday, Gor Mahia requested Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to write to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to have the match moved but they were informed it will not be possible.

“Caf matches are not just moved like that. It is not an easy thing to do and so Gor Mahia were informed to be ready to play on Saturday,” a source in FKF told Goal on Wednesday.

By Wednesday, the club had not done the mandatory Covid-19 test for their contingent of players and officials to enable them to travel to Rwanda.

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It is also not clear when the test will be done as the players refused to train until they are paid their salaries. Supposing they carry out the test on Thursday, it means they have to travel on Friday with the earliest flight scheduled for 5 am by Rwanda Air.

If they miss that flight, they will be forced to catch the 6 pm Kenya Airways flight to Kigali. Once they arrive in Kigali, Gor Mahia must undergo a 24-hour quarantine which means they will be allowed onto the pitch on Saturday by 3 pm or at 6 pm depending on which flight they would take.

Worse still, stand-in coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo has not had time to train with the players and will be seeing them for the first time in Kigali.

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Earlier on Wednesday, suspended secretary Sam Ochola revealed they were broke and did not have money to make the trip to Rwanda.

“Gor Mahia are broke! We want to gather any available monetary support we can to reduce our gaping operational costs, even if there are no kickbacks to us, individuals – it is for the sake of the club,” Ochola said in a statement obtained by Goal.

“FKF was to disburse Sh3million immediately to enable Gor Mahia to travel to Rwanda, a mandatory Covid-19 test was also to be carried out today [Wednesday] at 3 pm but players are on strike as we speak.”

When reached for comment, FKF, CEO Barry Otieno told Goal they are ready to help the clubs secure tickets and travel for the first match in Kigali, but only if they write to them formally.

“We have been informed of Gor Mahia’s situation and are ready to cover for the team’s air tickets to Rwanda using funds from FKF Premier League sponsors,” Otieno told Goal on Wednesday.

“The federation’s proposal has been shared with Gor Mahia club officials and we are awaiting feedback from them.”

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