Gor Mahia have cleared the outstanding arrears owed to their former players Ugandan defender Shafique Batambuze and Tanzanian winger Dickson Ambundo which could act as a big relief to the team.
Gor had faced the danger of not signing new players after violating the contractual obligations of the two players, attracting the attention of world football governing body Fifa, which directed the club to settle the dues.
According to the club’s sporting director Lordvic Aduda, Gor used grants from continental football body CAF to settle the dues with debts gobbling up over 50% of the monies.
Aduda says the monies were paid through the players’ lawyers with Batambuze having written back to the club to confirm receipt, while Ambundo is expected to file his response Monday.
“We have cleared with Batambuze and his lawyer has written back to us confirming the receipt of the money. We are forwarding the same communication to FIFA today(Monday). As for Ambundo, we have paid him through his Nairobi-based lawyer and we expect him to respond today confirming receipt,’’ explained Aduda.
FIFA had ordered Gor to pay the players who had sued them to the world football governing body for non-payment after the termination of their contracts. The record champions were barred from signing not until they had cleared with the players.
Aduda explained that they have also settled dues owed to former coach Steven Pollack who was.
‘’Pollack’s case is sealed. We are done with him and FIFA is in the picture. We will now write to FIFA to give us the green light to recruit, now that the window is still open.’’
Aduda says they had already identified players to beef their squad and were only awaiting the FIFA nod to have their signatures officially and will thus move with speed to seal the deals.
Aduda who did not disclose the amount paid to the club by CAF sought to clarify that they have used the money to settle the players while saying the fines imposed on players Boniface Oluoch and Kenneth Muguna, now with Tanzania’s Azam, were individual fines and not directed to the club.
‘’Those were individual fines to the players. CAF only ordered the club to compensate NAPSA Stars for the damages caused at the dressing room during the CAF Confederations Cup group stage qualifiers clash in Zambia. We have paid them for the damages and they have communicated the same to CAF,’’ explained Aduda.
Oluoch and Muguna were fined after investigations revealed that they mishandled the centre referee after Gor lost to NAPSA Stars. This was after the South African centre referee Lebalang Mokete awarded NAPSA Stars a last-minute penalty which was converted by Emmanuel Mayuka for a two-all draw, a result which favoured Napsa courtesy of the first leg win.
The two players were slapped with a fine of Ksh. 1.6 million each with a further four-match CAF inter-club matches ban.
Gor had expressed their interest to sign left-back to assist Ugandan Fred Nkata who remains the only one in the position following Geoffrey Ochieng’s injury which will now keep him off for the whole of the first leg of the new season.