NAIROBI, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's football club Gor Mahia are waiting for the go-ahead from the government to resume sporting activity before embarking on preparations to represent the nation at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League next season.
The decision to declare Gor Mahia the 2019-20 champions in March with nine games of the season left due to the outbreak of the pandemic was upheld by a local tribunal on Tuesday.
However, speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday, Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier, said the record 19-time domestic league winners were focused on signing new players whilst ensuring their players keep fit in small groups as COVID-19 protocols dictate.
Rachier, who also doubles as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) chairman added he was waiting for the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) ruling but the judgment delivered on Tuesday had left Gor 'in limbo'.
"We are in CAF already because our names have been taken there. Even if you are going by last year's records, if you nullify the league, last year's champions represent the country, which is ourselves," said Rachier.
"We are waiting for what the Ministry of Health and the president are going to say about sporting activity and give us direction and that is what we are going to do as to when football activity is starting and when there is a continuation of the league," he added.
To keep fit, the club is holding separate training sessions of not more than five players each at different locations while beefing up its squad in readiness for continental football and defending their crown.
The club has splashed cash on 12 new players in the current transfer window including foreigners; Uganda international Tito Okello, Cameroonian midfielder Bertrand Ngafei and Malawian midfielder Andrew Malisero.
The KPL, the body mandated to manage the local premier league, had taken Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) seeking to overturn the decision to prematurely end the 2019/2020 top-flight season and declare Gor champions.
In his 30-minute ruling, SDT chairman John Ohaga explained that KPL CEO Jack Oguda did not exhaust all international conflict resolution mechanisms before taking FKF to the Tribunal.
KPL's case was further compromised by the fact that not all 18-KPL clubs had appended their names to the petition.
Ohaga also ruled that FKF president Nick Mwendwa had no powers to announce the end of the league season, owing to the unavailability of his National Executive Committee (NEC), whose term of office expired in February.
"We cannot understand this ruling and this has left us in limbo," Rachier said. Enditem