FKF Premier League champions Gor Mahia have been booted out of the CAF Champions League draw, after they were denied a club licence by the Football Kenya federation (FKF).
The club was denied a license due to an ongoing case at the FIFA Players’ Chambers, over unpaid dues owed to three of their former players Adama Keita, Jules Ulimwengu and Sando Yangayay.
The three players reported the club to FIFA over unpaid dues, and the club was slapped with sanctions, including not signing new players.
The club had been given until last Thursday, 5pm EAT to settle the dues, or risk being kicked out of their return to Continental football.
The club however failed to comply with the directive from CAF and FIFA.
“We tried to make it known to them the reality of the situation, but they couldn’t listen. The Federation had no choice but to cancel their club license,” a source at FKF said.
The Federation then released a statement, saying the club had been denied a licence after it failed to prove it had paid its players on time. According to new CAF rules, any club playing in continental football must be licenced by its own federation.
Gor declared it had no unpaid dues
In its application to the First Instance Body (FIB) at FKF, Gor declared that it had no overdue payables and indicated the existence of two agreements with two formers players – Sando and Keita. The agreements signed by both parties had specific payment timelines and penalties. It is on the basis of the agreements that the club was granted a license to participate in the CAF’s Men’s interclub competitions in the upcoming 2023-2024 season.
On July 18, CAF notified Gor Mahia and FKF of a complaint in relation to a case that had been determined by FIFA. The complaint had been raised by Sando citing the club’s failure to honour overdue payments as per the agreement.
CAF invalidated Gor’s licence and suspended Gor’s participation in CAF’s interclub tournaments unless Gor settled the amounts owed to the player within 24 hours.
CAF also directed FKF’s First Instance Board to investigate the breach and any other overdue payables.
“Regrettably, Gor Mahia was not able to honor the payments nor enter into new agreements with the aforementioned players within the set CAF timelines. The deadlines were set in view of the upcoming CAF champions league draw and the fact that the Club was aware of the obligations ahead of the licensing process,” the Federation said in a statement.
Gor Mahia’s statement
Gor Mahia had earlier released a statement saying that it had honored all the financial obligations, but it was later revealed they had not finalized on some payments.
With that, Kenya will now not have a representative in the Champions League draw, while only Kakamega Homeboyz will participate in the Confederation Cup draw.
Consequently, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier said that the club will cease signing foreign players, who he says have always caused them problems due to financial disagreements.
He spoke during an interview with one of the leading radio stations.