Kenya: State of Football Wanting

Gor Mahia midfielder Francis Kahata (right) shields the ball from Chidiedube Duru of Lobi Stars during a Caf Africa Champions League match in Nairobi on December 16, 2018.
24 December 2018
editorial

Kenyan sides Gor Mahia and Kariobangi Sharks bid farewell to continental football championships following their defeats at the weekend.

Gor rued the goal they conceded in their 3-1 victory in Nairobi in the first leg after their rivals Lobi Stars from Nigeria beat them 2-0 in their Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League return leg match in Enugu, Nigeria.

The teams tied 3-3 on aggregate in the second round to see Gor once again relegated to the second-tier Caf Confederation Cup, just like last year, with the cash-strapped K'Ogalo missing out on a Sh54 million purse.

GOALLESS DRAW

After battling to a goalless draw in Nairobi in the first leg, Kariobangi found themselves out of Caf Confederation Cup after they lost to Asante Kotoko 2-1 in Kumasi, Ghana.

Poor preparations, players and technical bench's revolt has always been Kenyan clubs bane during such big tournaments.

For instance, Gor parted ways with their coach Daylan Kerr after only 16 months, just before the first round campaign. Kerr had grappled with delayed salaries for both the technical bench and players. Hassan Oktay replaced caretaker coach Zedekiah "Zico" Otieno during their match with Nyasa Bullets in Malawi.

MATCH MANAGEMENT

Clubs treat players and coaches badly but expect good results from them. Tournaments of such a high magnitude require a conducive environment for preparations. The carefree approach, bad attitude and lack of hunger and urge for good results by players when preparing for such matches is also worrying.

There is a need for planning in match management. For Gor, a good team should have put the duel away at home convincingly.

There could be no issues at Kariobangi but they should know that continental contests are a different game ball game altogether.

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