Gor Mahia captain Kenneth Muguna has explained that he has not gone AWOL but attending to a pressing family matter.
Since featuring for the Harambee Stars in a friendly against Mozambique last weekend, both Muguna and his assistant Joash Onyango have not attended training.
Head coach Steven Polack appointed Joachim Oluoch as the stand-in captain for today’s league outing against Kariobangi Sharks in Nakuru.
“I haven’t trained since the international break. My mum was facing some problems which I was trying to help solve so I took some time off. I thought it was a small matter but even up to know I haven’t been able to assist,” Muguna told Kahawa Tungu.
He pledged to resume duty ahead of Gor Mahia’s CAF Confederation Cup playoffs round first leg match against DCMP of DR Congo next week.
“It’s not like I have gone AWOL, I’ll be back with the team next week ahead of the CAF match, ” he added.
Muguna asserted that he must have informed the team manager, Jolawi Obondo, about the situation late after coach Steven Polack had talked to the media.
Jolawi, on the other hand, expressed disappointment that Muguna did not pick his calls or replied to his text messages until after the media picked up the story, while Joash has kept mum to date.
Apart from the two, Gor Mahia also had Lawrence Juma and Clifton Miheso in the Harambee Stars squad which faced the Mambas of Mozambique at Kasarani Stadium.
“After the match, they were given a day off on Monday and were to resume training the following day. Lawi and Clifton reported on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, while Muguna and Joash did not pick my calls or replied to text messages,” Jolawi said.
“We even had to postpone a group photoshoot as we tried to reach out to them but things had to proceed in their absence because CAF needed us to send them a copy.
“I know we are in a difficult financial situation, but as our captain, I expected him to at least talk to us and explain his situation so that we could see how to help instead of keeping quiet,” a disappointed Jolawi said.
For three months now, the club has not paid salary.
According to a well-placed source at the club, who did not want to be quoted for stoking disquiet, Muguna and Joash are seeking an exit route. They want to follow former Gor Mahia assistant coach Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno to KCB.
“Zico wants them so he has been telling them to wait for three months to elapse without salary so they can join him at KCB as free agents, as FIFA rules provide,” the source said.
Zico, who doubles up as the Harambee Stars assistant coach, could not be reached for comment.