I had no idea Kenyans play football, says Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay

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The K'Ogalo coach reveals that he also turned down offers from Turkey and Cyprus to take up the job in Kenya

Hassan Oktay has stunned many with revelations that he wasn’t aware that Kenya had a structured football league before he took up the Gor Mahia job.

Oktay landed in Kenya in December 2019 as a replacement for Dylan Kerr, who had moved to South Africa with Black Leopards.

But until the moment he guided K'Ogalo during a Caf Champions League playoff between Gor Mahia and Nyasa Big Bullet away in Malawi, the Cypriot had a totally different perception about the local football.

“I didn’t know Kenya. I didn’t know they play football in Kenya.

“When I came here, I was looking at football development – the pitches and gyms, but I realized that I was in Africa where the economies are not very strong. I was on an adventure,” Oktay was quoted by the Standard Online.

While Kenya doesn’t have the best facilities, he admits that his perception of the East African nation has since changed.

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“People are so friendly here. People are beautiful with a warm heart.”

The Cypriot of Turkish origin also revealed that he turned down offers from Turkey and Cyprus for an opportunity to coach in Africa.

Oktay guided Gor Mahia to a historic Caf Confederation Cup quarter-final place, and they will now face RS Berkane of Morocco.

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