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CAF Champions League

'I wish we hadn't honoured CR Belouizdad match' – Gor Mahia’s Odhiambo

06:00 GMT 03/01/2021
Gor Mahia 2020
The official feels it could have been better to forfeit the game and pay the players’ outstanding salaries instead

Gor Mahia treasurer Dolfina Odhiambo has claimed it would have been prudent for the club to have paid the players instead of honouring the Caf Champions League match against CR Belouizdad.

The official stated she engaged the players on whether they were in a good state to face the Algerian side, and through the assistant captain Philemon Otieno, they affirmed they were prepared.

The Kenyan champions went on to lose 6-0, and Odhiambo has said it would have been better to use the available money to pay outstanding salaries instead of taking a costly journey, the result of which was an embarrassing defeat in North Africa.

 “'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. “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 in any way blame financial issues at the club as the main reason that led to the embarrassing defeat.

“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].”

Omollo had said the players deserved respect despite honouring the game after little time of training.

“These players are very strong; they came into the match and struggled to get into the match,” said the Posta Rangers coach in an earlier interview. “They had not trained at all and were really under difficult circumstances coming into the game.

“They gave their best against a very good and organised team and their fight on the pitch was evident. They deserve respect.”

The Green Army face a huge task of overturning the scoreline on January 6 if they have to remain in contention of a group stage slot.