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Gor Mahia’s Pretoria trip hangs in the balance

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Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr reacts during his side’s Kenyan premier League clash against Thika United at the Thika Sub-County Stadium on September 17, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16- No visas, no tickets; That’s the situation 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia find themselves in ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup third round return leg tie against SuperSport United scheduled for Wednesday in Pretoria, South Africa.

Less than two days to the clash to be staged at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Gor Mahia are yet to get their visas and worse still, they do not have air tickets.

“Over the last two trips we have gone out, the government has been providing tickets for us. Up to now, they are yet to give us anything. If by tomorrow (Tuesday) we don’t have tickets, then I don’t see us travelling not unless a well wisher comes out. We don’t have money as a club,” Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier told Capital Sport.

On visas, the club is facing the risk of receiving the documents as late as Wednesday morning if the South African embassy will stick to its regulation of five working days.

According to Rachier, the team applied for their visas last Tuesday and was booked for interviews on Wednesday, the same day they were facing Wazito FC in a league fixture in Machakos. They went for the interviews on Thursday.

“We couldn’t boycott the match in Machakos and we went on Thursday. The embassy has insisted that they will start counting the five days from Thursday. So we wait and see, hopefully they will be considerate and we can get the visas tomorrow and travel at night,” Rachier further explained.

Jack Tuyisenge is joined by Meddie Kagere and Boniface Omondi in celebrating his goal against SuperSport United in a CAF Confederation Cup first round match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

There has also been an issue with the foreign players in the squad;

“The embassy required us to provide one-year work permits but immigration here only gives six month work permits. So we don’t know how that will go down with them. We have explained and so we wait. It is a very precarious situation for the club,” Rachier notes.

If Gor successfully get their visas on Tuesday morning and also get tickets, then they will travel to Johannesburg and connect to Pretoria on Tuesday night, and they will not have a chance of feeling the Lucas Moripe Stadium before the game.

Head coach Dylan Kerr has already organized a training session for the team at Camp Toyoyo on Tuesday morning.

“Our work is on the pitch and we will work hard to be ready for the match,” Kerr noted in a brief response.

Gor Mahia won the first leg 1-0 in Machakos on April 7 and are eying a historic berth in the group stages of continental football is they avoid defeat in Pretoria.

Coach Kerr will be hoping the pre-match drama will not break down his team’s mental preparedness for the tie. Already they will be without Ernest Wendo for the tie with the midfielder suspended after accumulating two yellow cards.

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