NAIROBI, Kenya, June 9- The arrival of Brazilian forward Thiago Lima Da Silva poses a huge headache to Gor Mahia head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira ‘Ze Maria’ over the club’s foreign quota, even as the ace awaits an ITC clearance and issuance of a work permit.
According to Kenyan Premier League rules, each team is allowed a maximum of five foreign players and the arrival of Da Silva takes that count at Gor to six.
The defending champions have Rwandese players Abouba Sibomana and Jacques Tuyisenge, Burundian Karim Nizigiyimana as well as Ugandans Khalid Aucho and Godfrey Walusimbi.
If Da Lima’s paperwork goes through, then one of the five has to hit the road.
“The coach is yet to decide but before the transfer window closes, we will have made a decision on who will leave. At the moment, we are waiting for Da Silva’s paperwork to go through.”
“We have already requested for the ITC and once it lands, then we will begin working on his work permit. Hopefully all this goes through before the end of the month,” Gor Mahia acting Secretary General Ronald Ngala told Capital Sport.
Of the five, Rwandese left back Abouba Sibomana seems more inclined to leaving especially after being reduced to watching from the bench in the last several matches after being dethroned by youngster Erick ‘Marcello’ Ouma.
Midfielder Khalid Aucho has been heavily linked with a move to the Scottish Premier League with Rangers FC but the signs of the same are far from clear.
Sibomana’s plight might suffer another blow with out of contract Ouma being offered a two –year contract by the club despite growing fears that he might leave the club.
“We have a two year contract agreement with his handlers but the boy is yet to sign. We hope he will sign soon so that we are closed on that chapter,” Ngala added.
At the same, the team has released two players from the team, striker Edmond Murai signed in January and youngster James Ogada while long-serving midfielder Erick Ochieng has chosen not to renew his contract and is currently looking for new suitors.
“I did not feel good being out and watching games from the bench. I know my ability and I know I can play football so it was only better for me to go out and look for playing time. I thank Gor Mahia for the opportunity they gave me,” Ochieng said in an interview with Capital Sport.
Meanwhile, the team warmed up for their KPL Top 8 semi-final showdown with Tusker FC on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Naivas FC in a friendly match at the Camp Toyoyo grounds on Thursday evening, the lone goal scored by Tuyisenge.
The team seeks to lift their third Top 8 title and hope to conquer Tusker for the second time in a row after beating them in the semi finals last year.
Captain Musa Mohammed remains optimistic they have what it takes to beat Tusker but reckons it will be a tough duel.
“Tusker is a good team and we definitely expect a tough match. However, we know our ability, we know what we can do and the players have the motivation. The coaches have also given us a lot of confidence and hopefully we get to win the first leg,” Mohammed affirmed.
Gor are unbeaten in the last five matches and have not conceded, further underlining their credentials heading into the weekend match.