Brazilian football coach quits Kenya’s league champions

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Nairobi, June 15 (IANS) Former Brazil international full-back Jose Marcelo Ferreira “Ze Maria” on Thursday quit his role as the head coach of Kenyan football giants Gor Mahia FC.

The retired right-back and right-midfielder’s abrupt exit was confirmed by the club’s official on Twitter handle bringing an end to the simmering tensions between the coach and the club’s Executive Committee, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Head coach — Marcelo Ze Maria resigns. Assistant coach, Zedekiah Otieno is currently taking care of the team’s preparation for the upcoming league match as EC (Executive Committee) sorts the issue,” the club said.

Ze Maria quit barely a week after leading the record 15-time Kenyan league champions to become the first winners of the $30,000 SportPesa Super Cup crown in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Local reports claimed the Brazilian left his post over ‘unkept promises’ but in a letter addressed to Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier, Ze Maria paid glowing tribute to the team as he left alongside his compatriot and assistant Marco Aurelio.

“Dear Mr. president, I hereby submit my resignation request to terminate my contract from the position of head coach I have held from March 2016 to date. Thank for the consideration and trust given to me by the club throughout my working period here.”

“I must also mention the great pride I had in training this giant club, the biggest in Kenya, where I had the privilege of winning some trophies, losing others, seeing so many young talents grow and see them playing for the national team…but always growing,” Ze Maria wrote to the club’s boss after his exit.

Apart from the SportPesa Super Cup, Ze Maria, who won 25 caps for Brazil over five years in his playing career led Gor to clinch the KPL Super Cup in a 1-0 win over Tusker in March.

On Sunday, his jubilant players hoisted him aloft after returning from what the club termed as a holiday to his homeland Brazil to take charge of the Super Cup final last Sunday.

His side stormed to a 3-0 victory, the second of the season against their bitter domestic rivals AFC Leopards in Dar-es-Salaam to earn the right to play English Premier League side Everton FC at the Tanzanian capital on July 13.

–IANS

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