NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – In a new low for the Kenyan Premier League, bottom side Mount Kenya United have dished out a walkover to champions Gor Mahia after they failed to turn up for their league match at the Kenyatta Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
Mount Kenya players refused to board the bus to Machakos from their pick up point at the City Stadium in Nairobi, citing unpaid dues amounting to five months.
“All the management has been telling us was tomorrow, tomorrow… This tomorrow never reaches. The players have simply had enough and decided they will not go for the match today. It is very difficult to motivate them to even turn up for training,” a source at the club told Capital Sports.
Gor players were already on the pitch by 2pm Thursday and waited in vain for their opponents of the day to arrive. They went into the pitch and had a small session with the match called off after 15 minutes of waiting.
By 3pm, the players were still at the City Stadium staging a sit in as they waited for club officials to hear their pleas.
Efforts to reach owner Francis Mureithi were futile as calls did not go through.
However, chairman Bernard Mosomi said they are working round the clock to ensure the players get their dues.
“It is unfortunate that it has reached a point where we have had to give a walk over. But I have talked to the players on the issue and promised to do something. We will meet again tomorrow and we discuss further and make plans for the next two matches. We will not give another walk over,” Mureithi stated.
He added; “We know we have a problem financially but I will try reach out to some of our friends and see whether we can get some money to help out for now before we work on a long term solution.”
Meanwhile, Mosomi says he is yet to touch base with the club owner over the state of the club.
“We talked at length last week and I actually thought he would get something for the players this week. He had promised to ensure all players are paid but did not give time frames,”
“I will look to it that I see him before meeting the players so that I can have a tangible statement moving forward,” the chairman further stated.
With the walkover, according to Kenyan premier League rules, the broke Mount Kenya now stare at a Sh1mn fine for failing to honor a match while more sanctions might follow. Gor will be awarded the three points.
The club’s future looked bleak after former owners and sponsors Nakumatt Holdings folded most of their establishments due to a severe cash crunch, but they had a slight wind of hope last season when politician cum businessman Francis Mureithi took over.
What looked like a beautiful marriage that ended in a change of name quickly evaporated like the morning due with the club failing to pay its players’ salaries and allowances.
They merely survived relegation last season but this time, with a return of eight losses in nine matches, their fate looks all but sealed.