Sunday Jan 03, 2021. 17:00
Dolfina Odhiambo, the treasurer of cash-strapped Kenyan club Gor Mahia, has admitted that the team should have stayed at home rather than honour their CAF Champions League clash away to Algeria’s CR Belouizdad last month.
Gor Mahia opted to spend a large amount of money and undertake the trip to North Africa for the first leg of their first round tie, but ended up suffering a 6-0 defeat on December 26 in Algiers – effectively ending their participation in the top-tier competition.
Odhiambo says she engaged the players on their state of mind and readiness before the match, with assistant captain Philemon Otieno saying they were well prepared.
“’Are we really ready to go and play?’ That is what I asked the players and through the [assistant] captain Otieno they affirmed readiness,” Odhiambo told Radio Jambo, as quoted by Goal.
“Yes, we had the money but I would have wished that we did not honour the game and use the money, where we had to pay Ksh4 million for the flight alone, to pay the players.”
The treasurer also said that stand-in head coach Sammy Omollo should not use financial issue as an excuse.
“So, that should not be the main reason why Omollo would say made us be defeated,” she continued.
“Empty pockets on the part of the players might have contributed to poor results but not at the level the coach is trying to put it. That is my honest opinion.
“The boys were ready for it and were certainly upbeat. They were happy that I brought them to a nice place in Algeria and not a River Road Hotel [a sub-standard hotel in the Kenyan context].”
The return game in Kenya is scheduled to be played on Wednesday, January 6.