Gor Mahia coach Polack: Politics killing football in most African countries

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Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack.
Goal Kenya.
The British tactician is irked by delaying tactics by the local associations to declare a final decision on the 2019-20 campaign

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has blamed the problems facing African football to endless wrangles involving those mandated to run the game.

The British tactician, who has been handling K’Ogalo for the last season, is irked by the fact the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) are yet to make official the fate of the 2019-20 season, which was ended in mid-March owing to the effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the FKF ending the season and declaring Gor Mahia the champions, the KPL has insisted they were not part of the decision and will make their findings known when the right time comes.

It is a situation that has left coach Polack a mad man considering the latest ban on sporting activities and social gatherings, which will end on August 7, means the top-flight likely cannot be played to the end as the KPL was advocating for and as such teams can only plan for the new season.

“If these associations were organised and doing responsibilities they have been mandated to do and they come together, then we could be talking of football development in the country,” Polack told Goal on Tuesday.

“Instead of the associations fighting each other, they should be on the same page working together to find a solution not fighting about no solution, we have to find a solution of talking to each other and this will help, not always fighting day in day out, they [FKF and KPL] are always not on the same page, it is all about football, nothing else, football, football and that is what we need to promote.

“I don’t know why we always have politics in African football if you go to Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ghana in Nigeria and the rest we have same problems, same fights, people not reading from the same page and like I said we all want to train and the players want to play football and that is the end of the story.

“Football should not have politics, I talked to my players on Saturday, we are all football people, we want to play football, and I want to coach football, we don’t want politics in football, the players want to play, my technical staff wants to coach and I also want to coach.”

Polack maintained his stance that both the FKF and the KPL should come out for once and give a final statement on what happened to the last campaign.

“They can even do away with the league if they want and we plan for next season, if they nullify it that is what it means, we need to have an official statement, we want it made official, I want something that is concrete, is the league cancelled, is the league nullified or Gor Mahia are the champions,” Polack continued.

“We know we don’t have the resources to do like other leagues have done in Europe to resume, no club has those resources here in Kenya and that is why the President has kept pushing the resumption of sports, I understand he knows we don’t have the resources to do that.

“The question still remains, what happened to the 2019-20 season? That is the question, which must be answered and I think basically, we are not smart people, we are not moving with the situation when curfews are being extended.

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“It means now the league could start at the end of September or earlier October, and are we ready for that, are they [FKF and KPL] prepared?

“All football clubs don’t know what is going, even the media doesn’t know what is happening, they have refused to tell us what is the final state of the 2019-20 season, it is either they cancel it and tell the clubs or give the title to Gor Mahia and make it official.”

Polack replaced Hassan Oktay at the start of the last campaign.