Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier Tuesday said that the club has suspended Secretary General Sam Ocholla after he signed the Football Kenya Federation (FKF)-StarTimes deal without the recommendation of the club's Executive Committee (EC).
Rachier said that the EC has since written to the Broadcasting company to withdraw the letter and that Ochollo is “suspended pending his explanation.”
“We have remained adamant in our position and that is why this morning, by whatever means employed, they procured our Secretary General Samuel Ocholla Kwenda to purport to issue Startimes an endorsement which all the members of the Executive Committee had recanted,” said the veteran football administrator.
He added: “Article 15 of Gor Mahia’s constitution provides that all contractual documents entered into by the club must be signed by the Chairman. Mr Ocholla very knowing this position proceeded to wrote an unauthorised letter endorsement to Startimes media to purport to give away our right then went underground. We have written to Startimes Media withdrawing this letter and our stand remain as before.”
However, speaking to Nation Sport separately, Ocholla said Rachier has no powers to suspend adding that only the EC can recommend his removal from office. Ocholla, who signed the deal on Tuesday, said the EC had given their blessing to the deal.
“The chairman (Rachier) is not in a capacity to suspend me, so I will continue carrying out my duties as normal. The EC has not met to pass that decision to suspend me,” said Ocholla, who was elected unopposed to the position in August.
The Chinese broadcasting firm signed a seven-year deal with FKF to beam live top flight league matches, national men and women's teams and also 30 matches in the National Super League.
But Gor, Mathare United, Ulinzi Stars and Zoo FC have decline to sign it on grounds that they do not know its content.
Rachier accused FKF of resorting to blackmail in attempts to have the rebelling clubs sign the deal.“…the FKF has been cajoling, coercing and blackmailing KPL clubs into endorsing such rights to Startimes media,” he said, also daring FKF to relegate Gor if they have the powers.
He said that the 19-times Kenyan Premier League champions will only endorse the deal as clubs that have offered to pull together their rights.
The other demand he said be met before they sign the deal is being offered the opportunity to go through the document to know its content.