Football Football

Raila rewards triumphant Gor

Gor Mahia players posing for a photo with club patron, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on November 3. PHOTO Raymond Makhaya.

NAIROBI, November 3 – Barely 24 hours after they made history as the first team in the modern era to lift the SportPesa Premier League title unbeaten, goodies have started flowing for Gor Mahia with former Prime Minister and club patron, Raila Odinga, setting the pace with Sh500,000 cash reward.

The playing unit received Sh300, 000 while Sh100, 000 each went to the club management and technical bench.

Speaking on Tuesday when hosting the triumphant team at his Nairobi office, Odinga who was at Nyayo National Stadium when K’Ogalo lifted their record 15th national title, challenged the club to focus on bettering their performance in the CAF Champions League.

“The way you guys won reminded me of Bayern Munich who won the league in Germany last year on 79 points. Finishing with a massive 20 points gap clearly means there is no doubt you are the champions.

“We now want to see the team not only shining in the region but should focus on matching the level of African giants in Egypt, Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria. With that I have no doubt Harambee Stars will qualify for Afcon.

“Last time you saw Zambia coming here and beating us at home. I felt very embarrassed but I think K’Ogalo really deserve what they have done this season,” Odinga asserted.

With the team going the past two seasons without a sponsor, the club patron committed to not only help Gor secure a sponsor but also extend the same to archrivals AFC Leopards who had a nightmare season that saw them finish seventh on 48 points.

“We have been discussing with the management of the club tohave a corporate sponsor because you cannot rely on donations. We are working hard to help clubs particularly those who are struggling financially.

“In other countries we have companies sponsoring clubs but in Kenya companies own the clubs making it difficult to partner with other teams. I would like to see KCB now that their club has gone under to sponsor Gor.

“We want to try and promote AFC Leopards because if they are strong, Gor will also become stronger and I’m sure Leopards fans are hurt since their team is not in the top four,” Odinga added.

Club chairman, Ambrose Rachier hailed the team, pointing out they have achieved more than the 1976 squad after emulating the class of 1985 who were the last K’Ogalo side to win three back-to-back titles.

“Much has been said about the year 1976 and we were able to bring seven legends who are alive. The only feat they achieved was to go unbeaten but this team has achieved much more than that by winning the league on three consecutive seasons and winning the league unbeaten with four matches to go.

“The quality of football that has been displayed this year is something that is unique. We earned 78 points out of possible 90, something that may take many years for any team to do repeat,” Rachier who doubles up as the Kenyan Premier League chairman declared.

Among the famous 1976 ‘invincible’ team that was present in the stadium are club legend, Allan Thigo, Maurice Ouma AKA ‘Ole Tunda’, James Ochieng, James Ogola Kadir, Maurice Ochieng, David Okelo and Martin Ouma.