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Defender Karim part ways with Gor Mahia

Burundian defender Karim Nizigiyimana’s time at Gor Mahia has come to an end.

The news is coming in just a day after Gor Mahia played their first competitive match of the 2018 / 19 season (without Karim) in which they won 1 – 0 against Malawian side Nyasa Big Bullet in Nairobi.

That was confirmed by Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier after their meeting with the player on Thursday evening where they discussed and agreed to part ways.

“We would wish to announce that Karim Nizigiyimana’s time at Gor Mahia has come to an end. His contract will be ending in January and we would wish to part ways in a good manner so that he can have enough time to look for another club. We would have love to have him still but we have the issue of foreign quota and at the moment, we have six players – we are only allowed to register five. The other foreign players still have long running contracts. Again, looking at the team’s departments, we needed a striker more,” the chairman exclusively told the official club’s website.

Rachier appreciated and thanked the player for his services at the club by saying: “Karim served the club so well… he dedicated his time and helped the club achieve the best. This is one player that was so instrumental and I truly appreciate him and thank him for the time he was at the club as well as for the good services he offered. We wish him all the best.”

Karim who joined Gor Mahia in 2015, making his first appearance on 21 February in a 4-2 league win over Mathare United appreciated the club management, his team mates and fans for making Kenya his second home for all those years.

“It’s been great playing Gor Mahia for the last four years… I truly and fully understand the situation the club is in on matters foreign players. We had a fruitful meeting with the chairman and had a lengthy discussion… I will forever appreciate and remember every moment l had in this great club. My sincere word of THANK YOU to the club’s management for giving me the chance to offer my services in those years. The club showed me love and l loved every moment.

“All my team mates were great and very supportive even when l was down injured… Gor Mahia fans are some of the best football fans l have ever seen – l truly appreciate their support and friendship. I have made good friend. Everyone within Gor Mahia circle made my life good in Kenya and l felt l was home and that’s why, Gor Mahia will forever occupy a special place in my heart.

“This is a club that has put me where l am today, the much l have achieved will no doubt light up moments of my life forever – winning three titles in four years is a big achievement in football career – THANK YOU GOR MAHIA… l wish the club all the best. I can’t go without saying special thanks to Chairman Ambrose Rachier… he embraced me, he was a father to me, he treated me like his own son and stood by me when l was injured and out of active football for many months. I have a house he bought for me (through the club) in Burundi and every time l will be seeing that house, l will be seeing Chairman Rachier. The respect and good relationship that existed between us will last forever – THANK YOU Chairman,” Karim told Gor Mahia website.

The right back player who became a darling of many fans by his style of play, was a key cog in Frank Nutall’s 2015 team – appearing in all 30 league games in 2015 season and making a further 14 appearances in cup competitions with a performance that could be second to none.

He made his name that season as the ‘King of Assist’- providing numerous crosses for the attacking duo of Michael Olunga and Meddie Kagere. In 2015 alone, Karim had a massive 17 assists in 30 league appearances – what more can you ask from a defender who can offer such?

His incredible performances in the year that was, earned him the Kenyan Premier League Defender of the Year accolade as well as being nominated for the Most Valuable Player of the Year – losing out to team-mate Michael Olunga.

He will be greatly remembered within Gor Mahia circles and his good work was well captured in the 2015 club’s magazine.

“He is a ‘devil’ of a right back. Quite destructive at his best. He embodies the Dani Alves style of play. Dangerous deliveries. Technically gifted and very dangerous going forward. There is no one that shone like the Burundian import when it comes to dynamic defenders and his four assists in the month of June, rightly saw him bag the SJAK-SportPesa Player for the month. His appearance at the back made Gor a feared opponent – defensively and offensively,” – Gor Mahia FC 2015 magazine.

A serious injury against Mathare United in October 2017 season curtailed his appearance until August this year (2018) where he played a good number of matches to the culmination of the season.

Karim would not leave Gor Mahia without decorating his glistering career at the club without a goal – he scored three goals in total and the most memorable one was in a 2-2 draw against Ulinzi in a league match in 2017.

The Burundian made a total of 106 appearances in competitive matches for K’Ogalo – 84 of those coming in league matches.

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