NAIROBI, Kenya, January 14- Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) representatives, Gor Mahia, are out to disprove the country’s low FIFA world ranking by embarking on an extended run in the competition.
Speaking in Nairobi on Monday after conducting his first training session of the season, Gor’s returning Croatian coach, Zradvko Logarusic affirmed his charges were fired up for their continental campaign that kicks-off mid next month.
Domestic Cup holders Gor have been drawn against Seychellois side Anse Reunion in the preliminary rounds before facing Egyptian side ENPPI in the first phase of the competition.
“The Cup may be coming too early for us since we have just started our pre-season but we will go step by step.
“We will give them respect but they must also respect Kenyan football and Kenyan players. First, we must pass the Seychelles test and then we come to Egypt and that is where I hope we shall prove that Kenya does not deserve to be position 126 on the FIFA rankings,” Logarusic said.
He acknowledged the enormity of the task of toppling ENPPI should they as expected, navigate through the Islanders whom they face between Feb. 15 and 17 and March 1 to 3 in a two-legged aggregate winner tie.
“Of course, anything can happen with the Seychelles team but we pass them, we are playing a club that has a budget of 25 million U.S. dollars and ours is only 600,000 dollars per year and is sponsored by companies like Nike and McDonalds.
“It says everything but we shall play without fear,” the coach of the only Kenyan club to lift a continental title when Gor won the 1987 CAF Cup Winners Cup (now defunct) added.
Logarusic spoke as his side unveiled six new players, including Giovanni Rodriguez Bissolli, the first Brazilian to feature in the Kenyan league.
Ugandan-national Israel Emuge, Nigerian-national Abbey Natti as well as local players Zachary Onyango, Paul Kiongera, Innocent Mutiso and David Otieno are the other additions.
Logarusic who ended speculation on his future after leading Gor to two domestic cups and to within a point of the league title also explained why he returned to the most supported club in Kenya.
“I could not disappoint these people; I did not finish my business. We took two titles and the one we wanted most we did not take. We are here for business, the season is long and for the next 10 months, it will be very hard work.”