NAIROBI, Kenya, October 29 – Gor Mahia on Thursday received Sh2 million from Prime Minister Raila Odinga as the Kenya Premier League (KPL) enters its business endOdinga who is the club’s patron said that for the national team to perform well, community clubs like Gor and AFC Leopards need a staunch fan base and firm structures on which to build upon.
“Gor and AFC are the building blocks for our football. If we want to see Harambee Stars do well out there, both these clubs and local football in general must improve,” said Odinga.
He also challenged the clubs to exhibit impressive performance in local championship leagues to woo fanatical support of football lovers during matches.
‘Kogalo’ are currently fourth on the league standings with three matches left against Bandari, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Sher Karuturi.
Meanwhile, KPL clubs have maintained that they will not release their players for next week’s friendly between Harambee Stars and Kuwait.
KPL chief executive Jack Oguda issued a statement on Thursday saying that the hastily arranged fixture does not fall within the FIFA international calendar and accused Football Kenya limited (FKL) of acting unilateral decisions.
“Unfortunately, these rules (international) and the rights of clubs have previously been ignored or violated by FKL officials and the national Head Coach who unfairly attacked clubs for exercising their rights under the FIFA rules and also unfairly penalized innocent players for respecting their club contracts,” said Oguda.
“FKL officials and the national Head Coach have repeatedly failed to respect the minimum professional requirement of producing an agreed training and fixtures plan for Harambee Stars,” said Oguda.
This is not the first time FKL and the league have clashed over the release of their players for friendlies.
Earlier this year, there was discontent when Stars traveled to Middle East to play Iran. The build up was overshadowed by the controversial letters that players were allegedly forced to sign and the dropping of four Mathare United players.
Kenya has also played matches against Bahrain and a Malaysian U-20 side, both of which took place outside the FIFA calendar.
Oguda goes on to say that clubs are not obliged to release any of their players and can only do so at their own volition.
The match against Kuwait, who are position 109 in the FIFA rankings, is meant to fine tune Kenya ahead of the crunch Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Nigeria on November 14.