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Gor Mahia players face Chan blackout over Harambee Stars boycott

Gor Mahia players could be barred from participating in next year’s Africa Nations Championship (Chan) in the wake of a fresh club versus country row pitting Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa and Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier.

This follows a decision by the club to earlier this week withdraw five of their players from Harambee Stars camp ahead of a friendly game versus Malawi’s Flames in Machakos on April 18.

Gor Mahia assistant secretary Ronald Ngala explained that the club is not bound by any rules to release the affected players namely, Boniface Oluoch, Musa Mohamed, Harun Shakava, Ernest Wendo and Kenneth Muguna.

NOT RECOGNISED

He argued that the outcome of the friendly match will not be recognised by Fifa.

“The match falls outside the Fifa match window and so we are not obligated to release the players. All those five are members of our first team so the coach has requested they remain with the team as we prepare for the league matches,” said Mr Ngala.

FKF have since replaced the Gor Mahia legion with Brian Birgen, Victor Majid, Zeka Wakoli, Victor Ogedo, Shami Mwinyi, Ian Otieno and James Saruni.

Football Kenya Federation has announced the national team will engage in at least one friendly match per month in preparation for the tournament which is slated for Nairobi, Eldoret, Meru and Machakos in January and February next year.

This means Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi could in the long run be forced to plan without the Gor Mahia players.

Such a possibility could deny the talented players an opportunity to showcase their talents at a continental competition and possibly attract the attention of international scouts.