Goal can reveal that the club is currently in need of Sh6.1m to make the trip to Algiers for the crunch match. However, the Kenyan government is yet to respond to the plea by Football Kenya Federation to purchase return tickets for the Kenyan champions.
Goal have obtained a letter from FKF CEO Robert Muthomi dated August 7 and addressed to the Ministry of Sports PS Kirimi Kaberia requesting for purchase of tickets for the trip.
“The team currently occupies the top of the table and will be a crunch match where a good result will mean the team qualifies for the quarter-finals. It has been close to thirty years since a Kenyan club qualified for the quarters of the Caf tournament and this milestone will bring a lot of national pride to the country.
“The purpose of the letter is to kindly request for the Ministry’s assistance in the purchase of air tickets for the team to enable them travel and honour the important assignment.”
But when contacted, Gor Mahia CEO Omondi Aduda confirmed that they are yet to receive a confirmation note from the government on the same. “We have not received any response from the government in regards to the request from FKF and time is now running out. We want the team to leave on Monday and as things look, we might have problems travelling.
“At the time the above letter was written the fare was Sh135, 000 (per ticket) and that was the cheapest flight (Turkish Airline) and now the same airline has risen to Sh156, 000 as of yesterday (Monday).
“And with no response up until now, we don’t know what the ticket will cost in the next few days. We need a confirmation whether they (government) are giving us this tickets as requested by the federation or not so that we can plan on our own.”
Aduda added, “We are going out there as the representatives of the country and not as a club and the support of the government is crucial. The cheapest ticket as at Monday to Algiers was Sh156, 000, and with Gor Mahia sending a team of 30 people, that adds up to Sh4.6m then include accommodation for three nights at Sh1.5m.”
Aduda added the visit of Rayon Sports and Gor Mahia’s recent away matches in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru, had eaten to the club’s coffers. “We paid tickets for match officials from Angola and Zimbabwe for the Rayon match. People should know that we are not crying because we have money but because the money is already used.
“Playing matches outside Nairobi is also eating into our budget. We played two matches in Kisumu, and returned to Nakuru and this required money to have the team in camp.”
Gor Mahia will require a win against USM Alger to be assured of a place in the quarters of the competition.