FKF Revokes Gor Mahia's License Despite Appeal

Gor Mahia had earlier written to the Federation, appealing the decision to revoke their license.

FKF Revokes Gor Mahia's License Despite Appeal
Gor Mahia players during a past match. /TWITTER.OLE TEYA

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on Friday, July 21 revoked the club license of 20-time Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia Football Club (FC).

FKF Secretary General Barry Otieno in a statement revealed that the decision was arrived at by the FKF First Instance Body (FIB), upon the counsel of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which found Gor Mahia to have been in breach of Article 60 of the CAF Men's Club Licensing Regulations.

The article states that any club applying for a license must prove that it has no overdue payables towards current and former employees as at March 31 of the year in which the CAF club competitions commence.

"If the Licence applicant has overdue payables as at 31st March of the year in which the CAF club competitions commence, it shall have a grace period of two (2) months to prove that by the following 31st of May, such overdue payables have been fully settled or deferred by mutual agreement with the creditor," FKF stated in part.

An image of FKF president Nick Mwendwa. /THE STAR

The Nick Mwendwa-led federation further revealed that in its application to the First Instance Body, Gor declared that it had no overdue payables and indicated the existence of two agreements with two former players - Sando Yangayay and Adama Keita. The agreements signed by both parties had specific payment timelines and penalties.

The basis of the agreement meant that the club was granted a license to participate in the CAF's Men's interclub competitions in the upcoming 2023-2024 season, that is the CAF Champions League.

"On July 18, 2023, CAF notified Gor Mahia and FKF of a complaint in relation to a case that had been determined by FIFA. The complaint had been raised by one of the aforementioned players - Yangayay - citing the club's failure to honour overdue payments as per the agreement.

"CAF invalidated Gor's licence and suspended Gor's participation in CAF's interclub tournaments unless Gor settled the amounts owed to the player within 24 hours. CAF also directed FKF's First Instance Board an independent decision-making body set up by all CAF's Member Associations to review clubs' license applications to investigate the breach and any other overdue payables," added the statement.

The FKF First Instance Body sought an extension of the deadline given by CAF and communicated to Gor Mahia officials that they had until Thursday, July 20 at 4 pm to settle the payments or enter into a new agreement.

At the same time, the board communicated to Gor Mahia about a similar breach of payments due to two other former players - Keita and Jules Ulimwengu - and the urgency of exercising the two options to resolve the matter ahead of the set deadline.

In a move aimed at finding facts and working towards an amicable solution to the impasse, the FIB convened a meeting with Gor Mahia's top leadership. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the two options available to Gor Mahia to resolve the matter ahead of the deadline.

"Regrettably, Gor Mahia was not able to honour the payments nor enter into new agreements with the aforementioned players within the set CAF timelines. The deadlines were set in view of the upcoming CAF champions league draw process scheduled to commence on Friday, July 21, 2023, and the fact that the Club was aware of the obligations ahead of the licensing process.

"Considering the aforementioned, the FKF First Instance Body had no option but to take the painful decision to revoke Gor Mahia's license. The decision was guided by Article 16 8(b) of the CAF Club licensing regulations which states that a license may be withdrawn by CAF or the licensor's decision-making bodies during a season if any of the conditions for the issue of a license are no longer satisfied, or the licensee violates any of its obligations under the licensor's club licensing regulations," FKF concluded.

The revocation of Gor Mahia's license means they risk missing out on the CAF Champions League, and might, by extension, be excluded from next season’s league.

“There are rules that all clubs playing in the Premier League have to be licensed and they are not. The Federation will have no choice but to omit them from the league, or any other club which has not satisfied the requirements,” a source at the Federation told Capital FM.

Gor Mahia had earlier written to the Federation, appealing the decision to revoke their license.

With the draw for the Champions League and Confederation Cup approaching, it is left to be seen whether or not CAF will admit Gor into the draw, or they will ask the Federation to replace them.

Azimio la Umoja Leader Raila Odinga received by Gor Mahia FC Players who handed him a KPL trophy on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. /RAILA ODINGA