Governor bans Gor Mahia from playing at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos

By francis marangu
Oct 27, 2014

Gor Mahia, the defending Kenya Premier League champions will have a heavy price to pay following crowd trouble that marred their Sunday’s 2-3 loss to Sofapaka in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

A section of the club’s disgruntled fans turned violent leaving behind huge destruction in and out of the stadium.

As a result, the Machakos County Government has taken a stern decision that might not be received well by the club and its fans.

In a press statement on Monday, Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua made public the decision to lock the club out of the stadium even with the league inching closer to conclusion.

“As a preventive measure and so as to ensure no one is injured or killed after a Gor Mahia or any other football match in Machakos, the County Government of Machakos has banned Gor Mahia football team from playing in Machakos County Stadium until further notice,” read the statement.

However, the decision is unlikely to have any effects to the club’s remaining campaign for the season as they have only two matches left.

None of the matches is scheduled to be played in Machakos. The financial aspect of the ban might be hard for the club to soak in.

The governor made an extensive tour of the stadium and Machakos Town on Monday morning to assess the damage which was estimated at Sh. 10 million. He said the club will be compelled to foot the bill and responsible individuals prosecuted after police have finalized their investigations that include reviewing CCTV footages.

What could worry Gor Mahia more is that, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will hold a national executive committee meeting on Tuesday to deliberate on the incident.

Deliberate on punitive measures

A statement signed by Michael Esakwa, the FKF CEO said the meeting will among other things discuss about general hooliganism and deliberate on punitive measures that will be preferred upon those found culpable for the violence in Machakos.

“FKF will not shy away from meting out harsh disciplinary measures against those involved in the hooliganism. The sternest of measures will be taken to deter possible recurrence of the same,” Esakwa stated.

The move comes only a week after the federation meted tough sanctions on AFC Leopards following fan trouble at their GoTV Shield semi final 0-2 loss to Sofapaka at City Stadium.

Among the sanctions dished out to AFC Leopards was to play in an empty stadia for the remaining league matches and a fine of Sh. 500, 000.

If ordered to play in empty stadia which is one of the possible outcomes from the meeting, Gor Mahia will be heavily disadvantaged as they prepare for a photo finish with Sofapaka and Tusker FC. Their remaining matches are away to Muhoroni Youth this weekend and a home tie against Ushuru FC on November 8 at City Stadium.

The federation has also renewed its calls for a special police unit to be set up in helping deal with hooliganism.

It is expected that the Tuesday meeting will take a firm and official position on the matter after citing rapid growth of the sports sector as a big challenge to security.

The federation has also expressed willingness to lobby other federations in actualizing the proposal. “That is the only way to ensure security apparatus in the country are properly equipped to deal with the challenge.”

What is not clear is whether a Governor can ban persons, club from its jurisdiction.