Musonye tears into Gor Mahia's Oktay

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, July 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Nicholas Musonye (right) and Raila Odinga. [Courtesy]

Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye has taken a jibe at Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay for allegedly undermining the Cecafa Kagame Cup.

The Turkish-Cypriot, whose side was eliminated 2-1 by Zambia’s Green Eagles at the quarterfinals stage of the regional tournament that ended here in Kigali yesterday with a record sixteen teams, had termed the competition as ‘not serious’.

Champions Azam and Ugandan giants KCCA were due to clash last evening in the final, with the winner walking away with $30,000 (Sh3million) in prize money and the runners up pocketing $20,000 (Sh2m).

“I’m not taking such tournaments like Cecafa Kagame Cup very seriously and that’s why we are not feeling any pressure,” Oktay told Standard Sports before their quarterfinals elimination.

“Our focus is on the Caf Champions League and the Premier League. This tournament serves as part of our pre-season training, to build our fitness levels and mental strength as well as gauge our new signings.

“When you have an intention of winning such tournaments you must come with your best squad and not ‘kids’,” he added in reference to his relatively new-look squad that had five new signings.

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Oktay’s words didn’t go down well with the outspoken long-serving regional football administrator.

“Teams from the region that have lost and now claim they are not interested in the tournament, can go to hell. We don’t need them,” Musonye said.

“Those foreign coaches, who come to Africa to waste their retirement, lose matches and then go back to their employers to tell them they don’t need Cecafa, can as well go to hell. What value are they adding to our regional football? They will soon meet the same teams in continental competitions.

“As far as I’m concerned, this has been one of the most successful events in terms of competition and organisation.”

 Tanzanian giants Simba SC and their rivals Yanga were not spared either after withdrawing from the oldest clubs’ competition on the continent.

“Those clubs that refuse to come here, pretending to have pre-season somewhere else they will soon know what Champions League football is. The tournament cannot take place just because Simba and Yanga refused to participate. We have left it to their federation to deal with them,” said Musonye.

The official revealed that twelve teams have already confirmed their participation in this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup slated for December 1-19 in Uganda.

“Twelve teams have confirmed their participation in the Challenge Cup, while three foreign teams are on standby. So any member team that wants to pull out can do so even now. Everything is set and we are all looking forward to another successful tournament in Uganda,” said Musonye.

Kenya are the reigning Champions after beating Zanzibar Heroes 3-2 on post-match penalties in the 2017 finals at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

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