Caf Champions League: Broke Gor Mahia still stranded ahead of USM Alger clash

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack and Lawrence Juma.
Goal Kenya.
The Kenyan champions failed to take off for Algeria as earlier planned on Thursday night, with the first leg battle slated for Sunday

Gor Mahia are yet to make a breakthrough in their quest to acquire return air tickets for their trip to Algeria to play USM Alger in a Caf Champions League match.

The Kenyan champions were due to depart to the North African country on Thursday night ahead of the first leg match set for Sunday, but on Friday morning, the team was still stranded in Kenya.

Gor Mahia official Judith Nyangi has told Goal they are yet to secure travel tickets and the trip could be aborted if the government does not step in.

“We are still stranded and not sure if the team will travel,” Nyangi told Goal on Friday.

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“Our Patron [Raila Odinga] was negotiating for return air tickets from the government on [Thursday] but so far we don’t have any response.

"We are not sure whether the team will travel or not because it will also depend on the flights which are available.”

K’Ogalo have faced a turbulent week after their much-publicised fundraiser to help the team raise money for the trip flopped, with some of the chief guests skipping the event altogether.

This came after their efforts to secure help from the government also hit a snag when the Sports Permanent Secretary Kirimi Kaberia said they don’t have money.

On Thursday, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier admitted the journey to North Africa was now hanging by a thread, and his team might be forced to pull out.

"As it stands, things are thick for us, we need about five million but what we have is less than 500,000 shillings," Rachier said.

"What we got from our unsuccessful fundraiser was pledges and post-dated cheques. The team was supposed to leave for Algeria on Thursday night, however, with the current situation, it is impossible.

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"We will have to push the departure date forward as we look for money to make the trip successful.”

Gor Mahia squad; Boniface Oluoch, David Mapigano, Wellington Ochieng, Tobias Otieno, Nicholas Kipkurui, Kenneth Muguna, Boniface Omondi, Joash Onyango, Dickson Ambundo, Ernest Wendo, Lawrence Juma, Charles Momanyi, Maurice Ojwang, and Geoffrey Ochieng.

Technical Bench: Steven Polack (coach), Patrick Odhiambo, Jolawi Obondo, Willis Ochieng, Fredrick Otieno, and George Omondi.