The 2011 sacking of former Gor Mahia top player Zedekiah Zico Otieno as coach remains one of the most dramatic and acrimonious. This says a lot, especially since Gor is a club where sacking of coaches is, for the most part, acrimonious.
In that season, the club was within touch of the title, and could literally smell it. They were in second position, and just needed a couple of victories. However, they began a string of losses, and the 2-1 loss to Congo Boys at City Stadium was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The fans blamed Zico. The rowdy fans began throwing stones at him and tried to access the pitch and probably assault him. Incredibly, by the time Zico left the stadium, not a single hair on his head had been touched.
Zico was appearing on KTN’s sports documentary show, Sports Legends.
He explained that the reason he wasn’t harmed on that infamous day was because, over the years, he had devised means with which to deal with rowdy Gor fans. He didn’t elaborate on these tactics, and how he employed them that day. He simply said that he was able to use the inside knowledge he possessed of the Gor fans to be safe.
In the end, he was only detained by the fans who refused to let him leave for six hours. This turn of events was quite ironic. From wanting to eject him from the stadium, ,the fans now resorted to forcefully keeping him at the arena. He was finally escorted off the premises by the police.
Zico also took the chance to explain the big misunderstanding that unfolded that day, and why he was almost lynched for something he claims he was innocent of.
He shared that at the time, he was pursuing a CAF B certificate, and as such, was held up in classes for the certification. For this reason, handling of the team was largely left to then assistant coach, Cameroonian Anaba Awono, and the late Zablon “Pro” Otieno. As fate would have it, on the day they faced Congo Boys, he decided to just relax on the technical bench, and this made fans think he was in charge of the team.
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