Nairobi News

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Ahly Merowe tight-lipped ahead of Gor Mahia date

Gor Mahia tactician Mark Harrison has ruled out complacency ahead of the team’s second leg match of the first round Caf Confederation Cup tie against Al Ahly Merowe of Sudan on Sunday.

K’Ogalo heads into the game with a comfortable advantage having beaten their opponents 3-1 at the New Suez Stadium in Egypt one week ago in the first leg of the competition.

The rematch kicks off at the Nyayo National Stadium behind closed doors from 4pm  as part of the strict measures put in by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the match has been surrounded with controversy after K’Ogalo management complained about a lack of communication from their opponents who are yet to arrive in the country with less than 48 hours to the match.

Gor Mahia Sporting Director Lordvick Aduda who is in charge of the team’s logistics in Caf Competition on Friday told Nairobi News that his efforts to communicate with Al Ahly Merowe management had hit a dead end and he wasn’t aware of the day and time they will arrive in the country.

As the host team, Gor are mandated to provide transport to the guest team who on the other hand caters for their accommodation and food during their stay in the country.

“They have not replied to us and even their embassy is not aware of their travelling plans to Kenya. The match officials are already in the country and we have attended to all their requirements. Maybe they will arrive on Sunday through a chartered flight but even if it is so, they should have informed us,” said Aduda.

“Even in Egypt we had to make our local arrangements and hire a bus to New Suez City and told them to pay. In football cooperation is key and maybe it is a mind game for them,” he added.

As Al Ahly Merowe arrival continues to be clouded with controversy, Gor Mahia are expected to have a feel of the Nyayo National Stadium with the Englishman maintaining he only has 16 players for the return leg.

This is after Sydney Ochieng’ got injured in the first leg clash making the former Western Stima midfielder to be out for the next two weeks.

The club is faced with a deficiency of players in the Caf assignment as it couldn’t register the newly signed ones in the Caf transfer window in July and August due to a Fifa ban for failing to settle arrears to former coach and players.

“There is no room for complacency despite the advantage we have. It is a serious game for us and the only way through is to finish the job at home. Our preparation has been good and we have to keep our focus and win big again,” said Harrsion.

K’Ogalo who are one step into the second round will meet one of the 16 teams which will have been eliminated in the Caf Champions League first round in a draw to be held next week by Caf.

In any case, Al Ahly Merowe misses the return leg, then they will face Caf sanctions.