What you need to know:
- But the Sudanese side is yet to arrive hours before return leg match at Nyayo
Former league champions Gor Mahia will today be seeking to complete a double over Sudan’s Al Ahly Merowe in their return leg match in the CAF Confederation Cup.
But whether the match will take place or not at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi as planned from 4pm is still a mystery, as Al Ahly had not arrived in the country by the time of going to press.
Gor officials alongside their Football Kenya Federation (FKF) counterparts told Nation Sport that they have been unsuccessful in their attempt to reach their opponents through available contact.
The team was on Saturday scheduled to have a feel of Nyayo Stadium at 6pm, but they were nowhere to be seen.
“They have not replied to us and even their embassy is not aware of their travelling plans to Kenya. The match officials are already in the country and we have attended to all their requirements. Maybe they will arrive on Sunday by a chartered flight but even if it is so, they should have informed us,” said Gor’s sporting director Lordvick Aduda.
Al Ahly are reported to be going through financial difficulties, which saw them arrive in Egypt a day to their first leg clash against Gor at the New Suez City.
They were forced to host the match in Egypt as there is no stadium approved by CAF in Sudan.
In the first leg encounter , Gor rallied from behind to win 3-1, which gives them an advantage over their opponents heading into this return leg. Samuel Onyango, Benson Omalla and Jules Ulimwengu were “K'Ogalo's” scorers in Egypt.
Should the match proceed as planned, it will be a different feeling for the players as fans will be making a return to the stadium for the first time ever since March 2020 when they were banned from sporting venues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministries of Health and Sports yesterday announced the lifting of the ban on fans following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s review of Covid-19 containment protocols during the Mashujaa Day celebrations last Wednesday.
In a statement, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said match organisers should ensure they utilise up to two thirds capacity of the stadium.
But FKF said they had not gotten approval from CAF, and the Gor match will now be played behind closed doors.
However, Gor on their official social media accounts said up to 10,000 fans will be allowed to watch the match. Gor said on its website the VIP and terraces tickets will go for Sh500 and Sh300, respectively.
The 19-time Kenyan champions had their final training session Saturday morning, with coach Mark Harrison saying they will go all out for a win.
“There won’t be many changes because we only have 16 players. It is likely to be a similar line up to the one in Egypt. I want us to win, there is no room for complacency,” said the 60-year-old Briton. He added that their ultimate goal is to lift the title.