Questions are being raised after Mathare United players went on strike ahead of the Sunday’s Kenyan Premier League clash against Kakamega Homeboyz.
First, it was Gor Mahia players who take on Homeboyz Thursday that boycotted their Wednesday’s training as players downed tools in protest of delayed salaries and match-winning bonuses.
The question of players boycotting training in the KPL over unfulfilled promises is not a new thing, but the timing has been questioned as both Gor Mahia and Mathare United prepare for matches against the Kakamega-base side.
According to a Gor Mahia official who spoke to SPORTSNEWS AFRICA on condition of anonymity, the players’ strike is ‘an excuse’ even though the official admits that the club owes players money.
“It is true that players are owed some cash, but we just paid them some money two weeks ago when we were going to Algeria. Again, when was the last time you heard that Mathare United players have boycotted training. Why only when both teams are going to play Homeboyz, between now (Thursday) and Sunday? Ask yourself those questions, then you get back for more questions and I will gladly answer you,” the official said, hinting that this could be an elaborate match-fixing scheme.
Mathare United players have not trained since Tuesday over delayed January and February pay and allowances.
While SPORTSNEWS AFRICA could not indepedently verify the sensational claims by the official, strike is a rare phenomenon at Bob Munro’s owned Mathare United. If any, it rarely gets to the press.
Claims of match-fixing in the KPL surfaced early in the year when Homeboyz owner Cleophas Shimanyula revealed that his players are involved in the scam, leading to the firing of Ugandan coach Paul Nkata.
Mathare United are third on the standing with 31 points, just a place above Gor Mahia who have two points less though K’Ogalo have three games at hand.