Tanzanian goalkeeper David Mapigano has given 18-time Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia an ultimatum to either pay his dues or risk losing him.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper, who has a year left on his contract, also made it clear he would not enter any contract talks until the club shells out what they owe.
Mapigano joined Gor on a three-year-deal in July 2018 from Tanzania’s Singida United.
“My coming back to Kenya is dependent on whether or not I get my money. It’s simple, If I’m not paid, I won’t come back. Gor owes me a lot of money and I have given the club time to honour its promise but that has not happened. It’ll not be a good idea for me to come and my family is suffering back here financially,” Mapigano told Nation Sport from his base in Arusha, a city in north-eastern Tanzania.
Kenya’s most successful football club has not paid its players’ salaries for seven months. The club’s financial woes are as a result of the exit of shirt sponsors SportPesa in August last year. The betting giant shut down its Kenya operations after government decided to double the duty tax placed on sports bets to 20 percent.
Under their deal with the Kenyan champions, the gambling company injected Sh70 million (R12.1 million) annually to Gor. The package was reportedly 85 percent of the club’s annual budget. The Covid-19 pandemic has not made matters any better for the beleaguered Kenya giants with no football matches, as gate takings are the only consistent source of revenue for the club during the season.
Mapigano revealed that a number of clubs in his homeland were keen on signing him, adding he may be forced to jump ship if his bosses fail to pay his outstanding monies.
“I love Gor and I’ve been patient because the club has no money but I’ve to move on if the situation doesn’t change,” he added.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa last week declared Gor champions after declaring the season over. The federation also forwarded the name of the club to Caf for inclusion in the Caf Champions League draw for next season.
The move means Gor, who led the 18-team League table by seven points with 10 games to go when the campaign was suspended, have won the Kenyan title four times on the trot.
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By Mthokozisi Dube