NAIROBI, Kenya, October 27- Having reversed the fortunes of domestic football giants Gor Mahia since assuming the club’s chairmanship in 2008, Ambrose Rachier is seeking to replicate the same on the national football management front.
The eminent lawyer who is a senior partner at Rachier, Amollo and Company Limited threw his hat to the race for the Football Kenya (FK) chairmanship in July when his rivals had long stated their intentions.
And according to him, Gor Mahia has paid the high price for his candidature after sensationally claiming his resolve to gun for the top seat has prompted one of his rivals to sabotage the team from within in an attempt to discredit his candidature.
“The repercussions that these elections campaign have had on my club have been devastating and performance has gone down as a result of very active interference by one of my opponents,” Rachier charged.
“I will not want to accuse everybody but I can tell you that one person has been actively engaged in destabilising my club and I with the sole purpose of saying that this man is not capable of running a club and what credentials will he bring in the table for the running of football at national level,” he further levelled.
Rachier has not spoken publicly about the club’s decline that has seen them fail to register victory in their last eight Kenyan Premier League (KPL) matches despite their FKL Cup victory on Wednesday.
“Since July, the results of my club have not been encouraging at all and this is the price I have had to pay in addition to the huge financial costs of running a campaign,” he told Capital Sport.
Rachier was subtly aiming his guns at Gor’s organising secretary, Tom Ataro who is openly campaigning for incumbent Football Kenya Limited (FKL) chair, Mohammed Hatimy.
During the period of turmoil, angry Gor fans have vented their anger on head coach, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno with their shocking loss against Congo United at Nyayo National Stadium in September the boiling point.
“There has been a lot of hullabaloo about Zico but we have a valid contract with him and we must have good reason as envisaged in the contract for us to terminate him. Where does the blame lie? This has to do with the politics of national politics.
“Of course, there is a section pushing their own agenda of he must go but it is not a question of incompetence. Last year, he took us to second and before July; we had barely lost a game. He has not been there for the last two months and have the results improved? Isn’t he the same coach at Harambee Stars and they have been doing well?” Rachier posed.
He disclosed the club’s National Executive Committee had given him leave in accordance to stipulations of his contract following the volatile situation, a decision that has seen Zico out of the dugout for three weeks.
“In my way, I have to carry my cross since I’m getting boxed but true Gor fans understand what is going on and they are saying, chairman soldier on for the good of Kenyan football and this is the sacrifice they have to make.”
Rachier said he would weigh the weight of executing the two roles of national and Gor chairman if elected and should the burden be onerous, he would step down from the club.
“In Kenyan history, we had Kenneth Matiba, Clement Gachanja and Joab Omino as chairmen of Kenya Football Federation and clubs and let us not be beguiled that wearing two hats is negative for the development of Kenyan football,” he charged.
The contestant said to enjoy support from world governing body Fifa and KPL clubs in his quest for the top seat is basing his campaign platform on the reform agenda and is confident of carrying the day on Saturday.
“I want to do institutional reform and technical reform, specifically; Kenya is the only country with a dubious distinction of having two bodies running football, one of which is a limited company. I would like to return football to stakeholders by one, having them vote and having them form an association,”
Other key pledges in his manifesto are sound management of national football team, Harambee Stars, establishment of a women’s league and revival of youth structures.
Rachier took over at Gor at a time when the club was flirting with relegation but a strong turnaround in the second leg of the 2008 season saw them finish fifth as well as win the FKL Cup.
Last season, they fell only four points short of reclaiming the national league crown they last lifted in 1995 when Zico was a player and captain at the club.
RACHIER CAMPAIGN KEY POINTS
– Institutional reform in football management
– Returning football to stakeholders
– Consistency in Harambee Stars technical bench
– Technical management in clubs
– Enhancing training of players, coaches and referees
– Ensuring retired players, coaches and referees do not descend to penury
– Establish proper league structures for women
– Revive youth football centres