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Gor in sticky situation with Oktay yet to return

Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay rejoicing after being named April Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month. Photo/SJAK

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier says the team might be forced to hire an interim coach if current boss Hassan Oktay will not be able to return to the country before their CAF Champions League first round tie away to Burundi’s Aigle Noir on Sunday.

Oktay asked for leave of absence from the club to fly back to his home in the United Kingdom to sort out urgent family matters and is yet to return to the country, leaving new assistant Patrick Odhiambo in charge of the Kenyan champions.

“I last talked to him on Thursday and he wasn’t sure yet when he will return. I will get back in touch with him and see when he will return. If it will be hard for him to return, then in the extreme we might be forced to hire an interim coach for this game,” Rachier revealed to Capital Sport.

He added; “Our current assistant Patrick Odhiambo does not have a CAF A license or its equivalent and the rules stipulate he cannot be on the touchline. I want to ask the coach if he can come back even just for this one match then we see whether he can go back and solve his issues.”

New Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay gestures during a training session at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on December 11, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

According to Rachier, he has been aware of the coach’s situation back at home in England and says the Turkish-Cypriot tactician is not trying to engineer a move out of the team as was the case with ex AFC Leopards coach Nikola Kavazovic last season.

“I have known these issues for a while and it is true, he is facing some challenges. He is a professional and I don’t think he can go behind our backs and try to leave. We will give him time to resolve them of course but we also have to look out for the affairs of the club,” the tactician stated.

Had Zedekiah Otieno remained at the helm of the club then the situation would have been averted as the experienced tactician has the requisite documents.

Gor are scheduled to travel to Burundi on Friday for the first round qualifier and Rachier hopes the next few days can offer a window for a solution to be arrived at.

Meanwhile, the club has confirmed that Burundian forward Francis Mustapha will leave the club. Mustapha has failed to get his wheels running since joining from Rwanda. Gor is also set to drop one other foreigner in the squad with midfielder Hashim Ssempala said to be on his way out.

Gor Mahia forward Francis Mustafa celebrates with Jacques Tuyisenge after scoring against Rayon Sport in a CAF Confederations Cup tie at the Kasarani Stadium on August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“The transfer window is still open and we will look at the next few weeks to see where we can strengthen. We have brought in two foreigners and a host of young players who we know will be vital for the team,” Rachier noted.

Gor lost two dependable players in striker Jacques Tuyisenge and Francis Kahata.

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Meanwhile, the club has named its squad for the  Champions League

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