By Paul Ombati
Eight teams will this weekend book places in the CAF Confederations Cup quarter-finals with Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia FC will be seeking to make history as they welcome Angolan side Petro Atletico on Sunday at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani at 7 pm EAT.
The Kenyan giants go to this match knowing very well that they must collect three points for them to qualify.
In group D, Egyptian side Zamalek sits top of the group with eight points, two ahead of fourth-placed Gor Mahia.
All final matches in this group are crucial, as any team that wins will be assured of qualification. Zamalek will be facing NA Hussein Dey, who are third while Gor Mahia will have their fate on their own hands when they take on the Angolan side.
A win for Gor Mahia will see them qualify with nine points, regardless of the result between Zamalek and Hussein Dey.
History and finances
K’Ogalo will be seeking to be the first Kenyan team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the competition.
They have however achieved success at the continental stage before, with the 1987 victory against Esperance FC in the Africa Cup Winners Cup, then known as the Nelson Mandela Cup.
With the Confederation of African Football (CAF) renewing a number its sponsorship deals, teams participating in the competition have benefited from the increased prize money for qualification in each stage.
In qualifying for the competition, Gor Mahia was assured of approximately Kshs 27,500,000. If they qualify for the quarter-finals, they will be bag approximately Kshs 35m.
With the financial burden they have been facing, this would be a big relief. Besides, the Football Kenya Federation would receive a 5% share of the amounts respectively as per the CAF regulations.
Marketing Kenyan Football
Football worldwide has been a growing investment, with the huge sponsorship deals of performing and established clubs.
The Confederations Cup is the second largest African club competition after the CAF Champions League. By virtue of Gor Mahia making progress in the competition, this would mean that they are not only marketing themselves but also Kenyan football.
This logically is good for the Kenyan Premier League and the growth of Kenyan football would also attract more sponsors.
Continental progress for Gor Mahia could be the needed aspect to jolt national team, Harambee Stars’ performance, with the team in preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Fans have been urged to turn up in large numbers and support the team in this game, which may turn historic for Kenyan football. Tickets are going for Kshs 200 for terraces and Kshs 500 for VIP.