Photos of stranded Gor Mahia players forced to use airport waiting lounges at the Doha International Airport, as sleeping areas less than 22 hours before their CAF Confederations Cup quarter finals match return leg against RS Berkane of Morocco has caused uproar.
The Kenyans expected in Morocco in less than 22 hours for a crunch continental assignment.
Francis Kahata and Philemon Otieno – who have been crucial during Gor’s historic CAF Confederation Cup run – were some of the stars who resorted to sleeping on the floor with some seeking comfort under airport lounge seats.
Gor face RS Berkane on Sunday at 2200hrs (EAT) carrying a 2-0 deficit having lost the opening leg in Kasarani yet events that have transpired in the build-up to the crucial assignment have been remarkably deplorable.
In embarrassing circumstances, Gor were forced to return for training on Thursday after Qatar Airlines denied they had travel bookings already reserved for them as had been communicated to the team by the Government.
Facing a 28-hour (average) trip from Nairobi to Berkane, they then had to travel in batches with the Dennis Oliech reportedly missing out on the trip after losing his passport in the confusion and not single player has yet to check in at the Melisa Saidia Beach Hotel in Morocco where they’ve been booked with hotel officials left in unfamiliar situation.
“Do you know when your team will be arriving? Please, if you get any information share with us,” a hotel official told yours truly on Saturday evening.
It means Gor will not conduct the usual ‘feeling of the pitch’ as is required by CAF who organise the competition nor will they have sufficient time to acclimatise to the environment in what is a truly chastening experience for the Kenyan champions.
The team officials via proxy had in the cause of the day asked the hotel to make ready 12 double rooms – to be shared by the players and seven singles but by 1am Kenyan time(Sunday) not a single soul from the Gor party is yet to check in at the hotel.
The Kenyan champions on Saturday also skipped a pre-match conference ritual, usually done a day to such matches as they are yet to reach the match venue, let alone their hotel.
The match is penciled to be played Sunday at the 15,000 seater Stade Municipal de Berkane, some 30kilomtres from the Melisa Beach Hotel.
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