• Gor Mahia to play three matches behind closed doors

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  • Gor Mahia fans disperse after Police fired tear gas during their match against AFC Leopards in March 2012.(Photo:File)Gor Mahia fans disperse after Police fired tear gas during their match against AFC Leopards in March 2012.(Photo:File)
Apr 19, 2012-

Gor Mahia has been ordered to play their next three Kenyan Premier League matches in empty stadia.

The punitive action by the league’s Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC), announced on Wednesday, could stretch to five matches if within 15 days, the club does not show the IDCC “a strategic plan on how it will implement future security arrangements” during their home matches.

The IDCC were making their ruling after Gor Mahia were charged with offences which caused crowd trouble during their KPL match with AFC Leopards at the National Stadium on March 18.

Gor Mahia were charged with ‘Failing to control its supporters thereby causing stoppage of the match, damage to property belonging to the SuperSport and Sports Stadia Management Board (SSMB), and injury to fans of AFC Leopards SC, contrary to Rules 3.4 (a) and 7.8 of the Rules of Kenyan Football.’

The IDCC has ordered Gor Mahia to make a safety and security strategic plan for their future KPL matches and establish an “Implementation Committee,” which shall include representation from the FKF (Football Kenya Federation), and which shall make bi-weekly reports to the IDCC on the concrete steps it (will) take to implement the strategic plan.

Gor Mahia shall also meet the costs of convening the IDCC for purposes of evaluating the extent to which it will implement the said strategic plan.

The IDCC said they were satisfied that Gor Mahia had made security arrangements for the match in question, which arrangements were endorsed by the other stakeholder, but were of the view that the security arrangements agreed upon were not implemented adequately.

“We take the view that in order to fulfill its obligations under Rule 3.5(b) of the Rules of Kenyan Football, the home team must not only make adequate pre-match security arrangements but also implement them to the letter.

“For example, this duty includes liaising with the relevant Police Department to ensure that the numbers of police officers required are actually deployed, and on time.”

The IDCC said Gor Mahia failed to demonstrate that the 300 police officers requested were deployed as a matter of fact. Further, the IDCC said, it is required that the home team deploys its stewards throughout the stadium to facilitate the identification of troublemakers.

The IDCC said it remains determined to root hooliganism out of Kenyan football, and will do all it can, within its powers, to achieve this goal.

The committee said they were particularly concerned that because of the past actions of its fans, Gor Mahia had been found guilty of violating the Rules of Kenyan Football on several occasions.

But the IDCC also acknowledged and wished “to commend Gor Mahia players and stewards for calming down their fans.

“Without their timely intervention the already terrible situation (on March 18) could have become much worse, the IDCC said. The IDCC said it was “imperative that all clubs participating in tournaments organised by the KPL, understand that the KPL does not, and will not, condone any acts of hooliganism.

“In this respect, all clubs must observe the KPL’s ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ on abandoned matches and assaults, which states that: ‘A club is responsible for the conduct of its officials, players and fans and will be held responsible for any assault on any person immediately before, during or after a match.”

The IDCC did not agree with AFC Leopards demand that the match(drawn 0-0) should have been awarded to them (Leopards).

The IDCC said that Rule 7.3(b) states that “The decisions made by the referee or assistant referees on the Laws of the Game during a match are final. Clubs and players may submit a protest but cannot appeal those decisions. outside interference of any kind."

“Once the referee in question exercised his discretion by choosing to continue the game, that decision was final and cannot now be question by this Committee or any other body.”

Gor Mahia, whose most immediate match is away to Ulinzi Stars at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru on Saturday, are destined to play in empty stadia; vs Nairobi City Stars at the City Stadium (April 28), vs Chemelil Sugar at the City Stadium (May 06) and vs Western Stima at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani (May 19).

The IDCC sitting was under their chairman Richard Omwela, included vice-chairman, Prof. Migai Akech and members, Elijah Gitonga, William Odeny, Njeri Onyango, David Otieno and Penninah Wahome.

In attendance were also: Jack Oguda, the Chief Executive Officer of KPL, Richard Ekhalie representing AFC Leopards, Francis Wasunna representing Gor Mahia, George Bwana representing Gor Mahia and Anthony Wasunna also representing Gor Mahia.

Nesta Kizito

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