30 November 2018

Kenya/Burundi: Gor Mahia Release Burundi Captain Nizigiyimana

Gor Mahia has parted ways with Burundian defender Karim Nizigiyimana in a bid to fulfil the foreign quota ahead of the 2018/19 SportPesa Premier League season.

Gor Mahia had to drop one foreigner from their squad ahead of the upcoming season. The record SPL champions had six foreigners within their ranks.

However, Kenyan football rules require clubs to register a maximum of five.

Nizigiyimana's exit means Gor now has five foreigners namely Rwandese Jacques Tuyisenge, Burundian Francis Mustafa, Ugandans Shafik Batambuze and Erisa Ssekisambu as well as Ivorian striker Ephrem Guikan.

Nizigiyimana, whose contract was set to expire in January, joined Gor Mahia in 2015 and leaves after four seasons where he won three league titles with K'Ogalo.

"We would wish to announce that Karim Nizigiyimana's time at Gor Mahia has come to an end. His contract will be ending in January and we would wish to part ways in a good manner so that he can have enough time to look for another club.

"We would have loved to have him but...the other foreign players still have long running contracts. Again, looking at the team's departments, we needed a striker more," club chairman Ambrose Rachier told the club's official portal on Friday.

In a moving farewell, the Burundi national team captain spoke glowingly of Rachier, the Green Army and the club at large.

"It's been great playing Gor Mahia for the last four years... I truly and fully understand the situation the club is in on matters foreign players. We had a fruitful meeting with the chairman and had a lengthy discussion... I will forever appreciate and remember every moment l had in this great club. The club showed me love and l loved every moment.

"All my team mates were great and very supportive even when l was down injured... Gor Mahia fans are some of the best football fans l have ever seen - I truly appreciate their support and friendship. Everyone within Gor Mahia circle made my life good in Kenya and l felt l was home and that's why, Gor Mahia will forever occupy a special place in my heart.

"This is a club that has put me where l am today, the much l have achieved will no doubt light up moments of my life forever - winning three titles in four years is a big achievement in football career - THANK YOU GOR MAHIA... l wish the club all the best. I can't go without saying special thanks to Chairman Ambrose Rachier... he embraced me, he was a father to me, he treated me like his own son and stood by me when l was injured and out of active football for many months," said Karim in the farewell message on the club's website.

Kenyan international Philemon Otieno, Wellington Ochieng' and Innocent Wafula remain as the options available at right back.

Nizigiyimana took the SPL with a storm in his debut season where he walked straight into Frank Nuttall's first eleven as Gor Mahia clinched their third title in a row.

The right back, alongside Rwandese left back Abouba Sibomana, introduced a new brand of attacking football in Kenyan football where the fullbacks formed an integral part of attack.

Their trademark overlaps down their respective wings brought the best out of Meddie Kagere and Michael Olunga who formed a deadly twin-striker partnership.

It is through their influence that Erick "Marcelo" Ouma rose from an unknown teenager to a regular at the club.

Kenya

Here's What Africans Searched For On Google In 2018

It's been a long 12 months, and before we kick 2018 to the curb, we're looking back at all the trends and topics that… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.