The controversy surrounding the disputed Kenyan Premier League Top 8 match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards has finally been resolved.
A meeting held on Tuesday between Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and KPL resolved to uphold the latter’s decision to award Gor a walk over against Leopards.
As a result, the tournament’s semi finals fixtures will proceed as had earlier been arranged. Title holders Ulinzi Stars will face Sony Sugar in the first match on Thursday (4pm) setting the stage for a showdown between Gor and league champions Tusker in a late kick match at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The meeting also resolved to nullify the Sh 5 million fine imposed on Leopards for their failure to honour the match against Gor on Sunday at Kasarani.
“For the interest of the sponsors and that of football development in the country, FKF has allowed the remaining Top 8 matches to proceed as per the fixtures. However, FKF has nullified any fines imposed on AFC Leopards for not honouring the match in question. The result of the match is upheld”, FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya said.
The resolution defused tension within the Gor camp, who had earlier threatened to pull out of the tournament if the decision to award them the match was overturned.
Club secretary general, George Bwana, reiterated they honoured the fixture and followed the requirements to the letter as outlined by the organisers but their opponents treated the tie with contempt.
“We fulfilled our obligation as required by the organizers and we are not to blame for our opponents’ failure to show up. Should this decision be reversed, we will pull out of the tournament”, Bwana said.
Nyamweya said that in future FKF will review the staging of the Top 8 tournament.
All clubs participating will also be required to hold joint consultative meetings with FKF and KPL to agree on modalities of administration of the tournament.
In a thinly veiled warning, Nyamweya categorically stated that KPL’s sole mandate is the running of the Premier League and not any other football activity without the federation’s authority.
The semi final matches are two leg affairs with the aggregate winners advancing to the finals where a Sh 1 million is at stake.
Ulinzi go into their match against Sony as clear favourites, but will be seeking to get even with a side that beat 1-0 in a league match two weekends ago.
However, the Gor versus Tusker is the standout fixture. Gor are in a great form having won their last four league matches.
But they will face a Tusker side seeking redemption after their catastrophic sojourn in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where they failed to make an impact at the just concluded Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations, (CECAFA) Kagame Club Championships.
The return match between Ulinzi and Sony will be played next week on Wednesday at the Nyayo National Stadium, while Gor and Tusker will lock horns again next Thursday at the City Stadium.
Meanwhile, all Premier League matches for the weekend have been cancelled to allow for the commencement of the President’s Cup. Seven matches will be played with KPL sides, Sofapaka, Ulinzi Stars, AFC Leopards, Mathare United Western Stima, Gor Mahia, Tusker, Karuturi Sports and Muhoroni Youth all in action.
Elsewhere, FKF announced that plans are underway towards the hosting this year’s edition of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in November.
The federation, which was nominated as the host during the CECAFA congress, confirmed that an organizing committee will be soon be put into place to start the modalities for hosting the event. East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) under their flagship beer brand, Tusker, is the principal sponsor of the tournament and will join hands with the government and other sponsors to ensure the success of this year’s tournament.
Nyamweya, said the federation would ensure that the annual event will be bigger and better than the previous tournaments. Nyamweya said FKF’s National Executive Committee will decide on the tournament’s two venues.President’s Cup Fixtures:Saturday:
Sofapaka vs Ulinzi Stars (Kasarani-3pm), AFC Leopards vs Mathare United (Nyayo-3pm), Sacramento vs Western Stima (Kakamega)
Sunday: Gor Mahia vs Borabu (City-3pm), Tusker vs Keroka Technical (Nyayo-3pm), Karuturi Sports vs Nakumatt (Karuturi-3pm), Muhoroni Youth vs West Sugar (Muhoroni-3pm).
© All rights reserved