Kenya: Cartels to Blame for Gor Mahia's Slump, Says Club Legend

13 January 2021

Gor Mahia legend Allan Thigo says the club will continue to perform poorly in continental matches if the high turnover of coaches persists.

Thigo, a lethal forward for both club and country in the 60s and 70, says he feels for his former team after the heavy 8-1 aggregate loss to CR Belouizdad in Caf Champions League first round.

After the thrashing, Gor were relegated to Caf Confederation Cup where they have been drawn against Napsa Stars in the play-offs. Portuguese tactician Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto has been tasked with guiding the club to the group stages following his appointment last weekend.

K'Ogalo will host the first leg on February 14 and before travelling to Zambia for the second leg on February 21.

During his unveiling, Pinto promised to steer the club into the group stage of competition which comes with a Sh27 million token from Caf.

"I feel sad because over the years Gor has been performing dismally in the continental scene. The real issue is the high turnover of coaches mostly foreigners and cartels at the club who are benefiting also by signing foreign players.

"How can you perform when you hire a coach in mid-season like they have done now? I played for the club and coached it as late as 2008. I know how cartels in the management operate at Gor. Let them pay coaches and give them time to handle the team," Thigo told Nation Sport on phone from Muhoroni, Kisumu County.

Thigo also debunked an emerging assertion among fans and management that the team cannot be handled by local coaches, saying during his time, the club thrived under the tutelage of Kenyan tacticians.

"Saying Gor is above locals coaches is like an abuse to our tacticians. Was Gor under foreign coaches during our time? Was Pamzo (Sammy Omollo) who led the club past APR a foreigner? We have very good local coaches, some of whom played for Gor but the cartels at the club are the ones using this issue to benefit at the expense of our dear team," an agitated Thigo said.

The former Kenyan international insists that Gor can only eliminate Napsa Stars if they pay players on time and release those who underperform yet draw high salaries.

"I follow Gor Mahia matches keenly and there are foreigners who don't deserve to even sit on the bench. Confederation Cup is also a tough competition and the current crop of players has to pull up their socks if the team is to advance past the play-offs," said Thigo.

Thigo was part of Gor Mahia squad that reached Africa Cup Winners Cup final in 1979 against Canon Sportiff Younde of Cameroon losing 8-0 on aggregate.

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