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Gor Mahia issue apology to the government over Madaraka Cup payment row


President Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga meet AFC Leopards Dan Shikanda (right) and Ambrose Rachier (left) of Gor Mahia during FKF Premier league match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards at Kasarani Stadium. May 8, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Gor Mahia have issued an apology to the government after a row over Madaraka Cup prize money payment.

K'Ogalo was to be awarded Sh1million prize money after defeating their arch-rivals AFC Leopards 6-5 in penalties to win the Madaraka Day Cup on June 1.

However, last week, Gor Secretary-General Sam Ocholla published a statement claiming that the Ksh1M promised by the government was yet to hit the club’s accounts despite the money being credited.

The Ministry of Sports and Heritage through its Principal Secretary Mike Kimoko on June 7 demanded an apology and called out club Secretary-General Sam Ocholla for his 'alarmist and irresponsible behaviour.

"The money was wired directly to the respective club accounts on 3rd June, 2022 at 12.00 pm in line with Government procedures against heated demand from some club officials that the payment should be in cash," Kimoko’s letter read in part.

"Both the Chairman of the two clubs were at all times briefed on the procedures of the cash prize payments and you as the Chairman of Gor Mahia FC indeed confirmed the reflection of the cash prize amount in your club accounts on 6th June, 2022.

 "It is therefore not only alarmist, obnoxious and irresponsible but also besmirching for the official of your club in the position of Secretary-General to misinform the general public and football lovers on the position of the payment of cash prize.

"This is therefore to demand a written apology from the club via the same media of communication the club official used to misinform."

 Gor Mahia players react during the penalty shootout of Madaraka Day Cup at Nyayo Stadium on June 1 2022. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard] 

On Thursday, Gor Mahia through their chairman Ambrose Rachier wrote an apology to the government and admitted that money was in their account.

“We refer to the statement attributed to our Secretary-General and published on social media on 3 June 2022 in which he indicated that the prize money had not been released to us “under unclear circumstances” thus insinuating ill motive on the part of the Government officer entrusted with the handling of the funds,” read the statement.

“We write to apologise to the officer(s) concerned for this statement and to confirm that as at the date of the publication of this statement the Chairman of the Club had already been informed of the fact that the money in question had been deposited into the Club account. We confirm that indeed the money was deposited into our Cub account on 3rd June 2022.”

 AFC Leopards midfielder Peter Thiong'o reacts during the penalty shootout of Madaraka Day Cup at Nyayo Stadium on June 1 2022. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard] 

“We appreciate the good gesture of the Government of the Republic of Kenya through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage in organising the above derby and giving us an opportunity to participate in such a worthy cause. The prize money earned has indeed benefited the club generally and our players and technical staff in particular. We look forward to such other similar opportunities in the future.”

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