Same old, same old Gor Mahia get yet another Fifa ban

Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia players celebrate their FKF Premier League win against Nairobi City Stars at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on February 17.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The club defaulted in paying Sh4.3 million owed to their former goalkeeper Adama Keita for wrongful dismissal.
  • The Malian player was released by Gor Mahia in July 2022 after failing to nail a starting role in the squad.

Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) champions Gor Mahia have once again been banned from signing new players by Fifa.

This follows the club defaulting in paying $29,764 (about Sh4.3 million at today’s rates) owed to their former goalkeeper Adama Keita for wrongful dismissal

The ex-Mali international, who joined K'Ogalo in August 2021 on a two-year contract, was released in July 2022 after failing to nail a starting role in the squad.

He moved to Fifa two months after leaving Gor seeking Sh4.3 million for breach of contract by the record Kenyan champions.

In November 2022, Fifa awarded him $ 30,544 (Sh4.4 million) in compensation plus a five percent interest on salary owed for being axed unlawfully. He was on a salary of Sh150,00 a month.

Gor was given 45 days to clear the payment or face a ban.

A payment plan was agreed in March last year between the player and the club which saw K’Ogalo’s ban lifted after Keita was paid an initial amount of Sh2.3 million. 

The remaining Sh2.1 million was to be cleared by April of the same year.

However, there was a clause in the agreement that Gor Mahia was to pay a 50 per cent penalty in case they defaulted on the payment.

When Gor Mahia failed to clear the balance Keita went back to Fifa for redress. Fifa duly slapped another transfer ban of the Kenyan champions

In a letter to Gor Mahia from Fifa dated January 9, the club was given 45 days to comply by paying the Malian or else they would be punished. The deadline lapsed on Friday.

Gor Mahia Secretary General Sam Ochola however told Nation Sport on Wednesday that the ban came as a result of miscommunication between the club and Fifa since they had already paid the player.

“We had sent money to Adama directly but failed to notify Fifa. Nobody communicated with Fifa or Adama on the payment because we thought after remitting the money, he would just be courteous enough to tell Fifa,” said Ochola.

The official said they have proof of payment and assured fans that the issue will be sorted out.

“We just need to show Fifa that we have paid him and the ban will be a thing of the past,” he added.

Keita declined to comment and referred Nation Sport us to his lawyer.

In July last year, the club was locked out from the 2023/24 Caf Champions League due to debts owed to Congolese forward Sando Sando Yangay, Adama Keita, and Burundian attacker Jules Ulimwengu.

Sando was owed Sh2.27 million, Keita, Sh4.3 million, and Ulimwengu Sh1.1 million. The club later cleared the debt.

Meanwhile, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has blamed Gor Mahia for the mess.