Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier yesterday suspended the club’s Secretary-General Sam Ocholla for signing an undertaking on behalf of the reigning Kenyan Premiwer League champions endorsing the broadcast rights of StarTimes.
Rachier said Ocholla whom he claimed had switched off his phone and could not be traced after writing the controversial letter to Football Kenya Federation (FKF), was unauthorised to make the move and that the mandate squarely lies with the club chairman as per article 15 of the club’s constitution.
“We, Gor Mahia FC, are cognizant that on September 29, 2020, FKF entered into a Media Rights and Commercial Rights Agreement with StarTimes Media to be exclusive broadcaster of the FKF Premier League for seven seasons.
We here by endorse the agreement and we shall endeavour to bring the agreement to fruition by cooperating with FKF in performing its obligations under the agreement,” read part of Ocholla’s letter.
He added in the letter: “We, through this letter of endorsement, pledge to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement as well as the rules of the game of football and that we shall not enter into any other agreements with third parties in respect of the rights granted to StarTimes Media (Kenya) under the agreement.
Rachier said no one knew what the StarTimes deal entailed and said he could not append his signature of endorsement before being satisfied with the contract.
“All Gor Mahia deals are signed by the president and not Secretary General as provided by Article 15 of the club constitution.
Ocholla clearly knowing this position proceeded to write an unauthorised letter of endorsement to StarTimes media to purport to give away our rights then switched off his phones and went underground,” Rachier said.
He added: “The Secretary General is suspended with immediate effect for insurbodination.
We have written to StarTimes Media withdrawing this letter and our stand remains as before. I have already briefed our club patron Raila Odinga of the happenings.”
Rachier who on monday chaired a Special General meeting for the defunct Kenyan Premier League, dared FKF boss Nick Mwendwa to relegate the team for taking a stand against the broadcast sponsors.
He said that Gor had no problem with playing in the premier league because they had no problem with the federation running the league, but wanted their rights to be respected.
“Nick Mwendwa has no powers to relegate a team. That rule is nowhere even in the FKF constitution, so he should not cajole, coerce and blackmail clubs with such threats.
We didn’t have a problem with the league title sponsors, and we are going to take part in the league,” Rachier said.
Meanwhile, Rachier yesterday had a lengthy meeting with ODM leader Raila Odinga to chart the way forward for the team ahead of their Champions League trip to Kigali, where they are to face Rwanda champions APR this weekend. It is believed that the team is seeking funds to make the trip a reality.