Gor Mahia’s 29-man contingent leaves Wednesday night for the team’s return leg match of Caf Champions League first round against Tunisia’s Esperance in Tunis amid controversy over last-minute change of match details.
Esperance’s decision to push the match from Saturday to Sunday without Gor Mahia’s knowledge and without issuing any reasons is threatening to throw Gor’s preparations into confusion.
Football Kenya Federation and Gor Mahia officials have raised concerns about the conduct of the Tunisian team, as they have contravened Caf regulations which state that match dates once drafted cannot be postponed without consultation with opponents.
Gor Chief Executive Officer Lordvick Aduda said his team learnt about the change of dates on Monday night through a letter from the Tunisian federation which also indicated that members of Gor’s contingent would receive their visas on arrival in Tunisia.
“There is a lot of confusion because we haven’t received or seen any communication from Caf regarding change of match dates, yet we understand that a correspondence between FKF and the Tunisia FA indicate that the match will be played on Sunday. I have been in communication with our federation since morning and up to now I haven’t got any concrete clarification from Caf," Aduda said.
“This is a very unfortunate situation because someone might be misleading us deliberately so that we can end up failing to show up on the real date of the game.”
LEARNT ABOUT THE CHANGES
FKF officials also confirmed that they learned about the change of dates when they logged on to the Caf systems on Monday.
FKF’s Competitions Manager Frank Ogolla then wrote the Caf Secretary General seeking clarification. By close of business Tuesday, Caf website (Cafonline.com) indicated the match would be played on Saturday at Stade Olympique Rades in Tunis.
“We’ve written to Caf seeking clarification because it appears there is a communication gap somewhere. We’ve also reminded them of their rules that state that any change must be communicated to Caf and both teams have to agree to the change before Caf approves. We await their response,” Ogolla said.