Foreign players eager to see us bleed: Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier

Foreign players eager to see us bleed: Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier

Long serving Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier has decried the trend of foreign players reporting the record Kenyan Premier League champions to FIFA over unpaid dues.

Speaking after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) revoked K’Ogalo’s licence consequently locking the side out of the 2023/24 CAF Champions League last week, Rachier has disclosed that foreign players are making sure that the club ‘bleeds’ even after parting ways.

A number of foreign players and coaches have in recent seasons reported Gor Mahia to FIFA’s Disputes Resolution Chamber over breach of contract and delayed salaries as the club grapples with financial constraints lately.

In 2021, Ugandan Shafik Batambuze, Dickson Ambundo from Tanzania, and coach Steven Polack took Gor Mahia to FIFA over their pending salaries and the Kenyan giants were  banned from bringing in new faces until they fully settled the trio financially.

However, K’Ogalo defied the order, went on to make new signings before clearing with the players and FIFA. The new signings featured in the Super Cup against Tusker FC in 2021, attracting the wrath of FIFA against the club.

“The club Gor Mahia is found responsible for failing to comply with a FIFA decision,” read a letter from FIFA. 

“The club Gor Mahia is banned from registering new players for two entire and consecutive registration periods as from the date of notification of the present decision.” FIFA continued.

In the process, the Football Kenya Federation was as well  not left off the hook. FIFA took action after Kenya’s FA cleared Gor Mahia’s new signings  without getting approval from the world football governing body.

“The Football Kenya Federation is ordered to pay a fine to the amount of [KES.6 million] for failing to comply with a final FIFA decision,” the letter continued.

“The fine is to be paid within 30 days of notification of the present decision.”

On Wednesday, October 6 2021, K’Ogalo  were also issued with a  transfer ban by the world football  governing body over a KES 3.3m debt after the previous ban ran from February to September due to debts owed to the two former players and a coach.

The sanctions followed the club’s failure to pay $30,000 (KES3.3m) owed to a former player, Ghana’s Jackson Owusu. Gor Mahia have for the past few seasons faced financial difficulties resulting to numerous reported cases of delayed or unpaid salaries at the club.

“We wish to inform the parties that a ban from registering new players internationally has been implemented by FIFA as of today,” communication from FIFA read in part.

As per FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) directives, Gor Mahia were to transfer the pending funds to Owusu in a decision issued on June 30, 2021 but the club ignored the order.

The 20-time record Kenyan Premier League champions had  failed  to convince FIFA that a mutual termination of the Ghanaian ace’s contract had been reached. Consequently, the club was banned for two transfer windows despite the side reported to have tried to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland.

Following this embargo with foreign players, Gor Mahia’s supremo Ambrose Rachier has also revealed to this publication that the club will be taking a break from signing foreign players as they cannot afford them at the moment.

“My stand is that for the time being we cannot afford them and therefore we are not recruiting new ones,” he said.

“At the moment you will see that some of our foreign players have taken us to FIFA. Apart from having left, they are making sure that they make us bleed. We are not saying that all foreign players are bad but we are saying that we need to take a break. Apparently we cannot afford them.” 

Rachier said the decision to slam the door against foreign players was not long overdue despite previous cases at FIFA which turned costly. 

“I don’t think the decision was long overdue because this rush of foreign players trying to block us from playing at CAF happened only last week.” 

Meanwhile, Rachier has also disclosed that the decision to slam the door against foreign players is  temporary.

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