Hearty congratulations to Gor Mahia for making it into the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup. Awesome work guys and I am super proud of you!.
I wish this post would just end there, and I would bid you, dear reader, a wonderful evening. But, there is a poignant downside in this story, and it is a problem that needs to be addressed soon because now it is getting embarassing.
Right now, we should be focusing solely on how amazing this victory is for not only the club, but for our country. Better yet, we should be praising the K’ogalo boys for that rapid comeback within a minute of their own goal, which demonstrates the character of the team. We should also be applauding them for going through this stage and managing to hold on to their advantage despite not having their best two players on the field. There are so many other beautiful aspects of their game last night that I would like this post to focus on.
Unfortunately, my attention is drawn to the fact that these boys almost did not make it for the second leg of the CAFCC draw in South Africa. In fact, if Mike Sonko had not stepped in and purchased those 30 air tickets for the team in just the nick of time, Gor Mahia would have had to forfeit the game, and we would have been the laughing stock of the entire region.
The Sports Ministry did not release the tickets in advance (because Gor presented a delegation of 40 individuals, I’m assuming), which meant Gor Mahia had to fend for themselves. This begs the question: doesn’t Gor Mahia have its own finances that could at least cater to their traveling expenses if the government is unable to do so? Like a small kitty for a rainy day that is enough to transport the core team (not 30-40 individuals) to a nearby country for a regional tournament? What does the management do with the club’s revenues after deducting salaries and remuneration? K’ogalo claims to be the most popular football club in East Africa so I expect it is attracting a lot of money from fans and the government. Where is this money going if Gor Mahia is being reduced to beggars hoping that a good samaritan will come along and pay their way?
The management knew that they would have to go to SA for a return leg back in March so why didn’t they start sourcing for funds then?
And what about the mixup over the visas for the players and officials? There was a serious delay in processing their visas owing to the club officials blatant disregard for the visa application rules of the SA embassy. They knew it took five days to process visas to South Africa, but the K’ogalo officials applied for them with only four days to go. The officials are blaming each other for the mixups and delays, which is just embarassing. Jeeeeeez!!
As if that wasn’t enough clusterfuckery from the club management, Tuyisenge and Guikan could not get the visas to SA because they did not have the appropriate Kenyan work permits. Problem after problem with no end in sight.
Or so it seems. You see, despite all of these problems, Gor Mahia won the draw, and with that comes a Ksh 27 million payout for reaching the group stages. That, for me, qualifies as an end in sight even if they do not progress in the competition. Let us hope that its management learns from this entire debacle, and saves some of that money to cater for their traveling expenses for the coming international games in the competition.
Let us also hope that they process the visas in time so that we do not go through this mess again.
Finally, this insistence on including unnecessary individuals in the travel delegation should end here! Even Sonko was conned when he had to pay for THIRTY individuals to go abroad for a football match. Keep the delegation small and people (including the govenment) will be more than willing to foot the expense, NKT!
Anyway, good job Kahata, good job. Your country thanks you (for coming through for us).