Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has termed the travel difficulties that the team had en route to Morocco for the final CAF Confederations Cup game against RS Berkane beyond the club’s control.
A cocktail of difficulties in their travel saw the team get to the destination just hours to the clash, and went on to lose 1 – 5 and 1 – 7 on aggregate. In his explanation, Rachier blamed the delay on a mechanical problem encountered by their flight, a late issuance of tickets and generally the club not being in a financial position to handle the trip by itself.
With the tickets to and fro set to cost approximately Kshs 8 million, Gor Mahia, according to Rachier, had to approach the Ministry of Sports for support, a request that was duly granted.
However, the tickets failed to come in time and the team was forced to travel in four batches, starting Friday 12 April; two days to the game, and via Doha, Qatar.
The first batch, of 12 players, the coach, team manager and team doctor was to leave via a Kenya Airways flight through Brazaville but the flight did not take off and they had to be booked at Laico Regency Hotel.
“The aircraft assigned for this flight developed mechanical problems…the traveling party disembarked and was accommodated for the night at Laico,” Rachier said.
The team had to redirect the following day and take the Qatar route, which had a 10 – hour stopover, at which pictures of players sleeping at the airport were circulated on social media.
The second batch, which had eight players, left on Friday 12 April through the same route – Doha.
“These are the bare facts, the interpretation of which we leave to the unpolluted mind of the reader. Let the prophets of doom engage their fertile imaginations to fortify the concoctions.
Investigate and punish
“For us as a club management, if we were guilty at all, it is because: we could not raise Kshs 8 million for the air tickets due to financial constraints; we had no control over the Kenya Airways flight that could not take off due to mechanical problems; and we could not avoid the Doha layover.” Rachier added.
Rachier concluded with an assurance of investigating the perpetrators of the same and meting out the appropriate punishment.