Gor, Leopards docked points over hooliganism
Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have been docked three points each at a disciplinary ruling by the Kenyan Premier League for failing to control their fans.
As a result, Gor Mahia have ceded leadership in the KPL standings barely 24 hours after overhauling Tusker.
K’Ogalo now drops to second on 26 points, three behind leaders Tusker while Leopards have dropped six places to 12th with 17 points.
However, officials of the two clubs have strongly disputed the ruling and vowed to challenge it within the various sports conflict resolution bodies.
The punitive ruling against the two teams was arrived at after KPL’s Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC) found them guilty of failing to control their fans during league matches earlier this season.
“All clubs participating in tournaments organized by the KPL must understand that KPL does not condone any acts of hooliganism,” the IDCC statement read in part.
The incident involving Gor Mahia occurred during a match against Tusker at the Nyayo National Stadium on April 26, a contest K’Ogalo lost 1-0.
The encounter was halted for close to 15 minutes after suspected Gor Mahia fans and stewards stormed the pitch and assaulted the match officials for supposedly awarding Tusker a penalty.
Leopards too were punished for allowing their fans and stewards access the pitch, cause trouble and consequent abandonment of their match against Ulinzi Stars at Mumias Sports Complex on April 23.
The said fans and stewards were also protesting a decision by the match referee to award Ulinzi a penalty late in the match.
“I read clean and clear mischief in this ruling. Our scenario is the same as what occurred during the match between Harambee Stars and Guinea Bissau (on March 27). There was crowd trouble but the match was concluded and Caf never docked Kenya of any points. We shall appeal,” Gor’s Secretary General Ronald Ngala said.
Leopards co-chairman Dan Mule also expressed similar sentiments regarding the decision.
GOR ‘KEEPER BANNED
“They (KPL) are basing this ruling on an earlier threat from the FKF (Football Kenya Federation) chairman. We cannot work like this. There is nowhere we as the stakeholders of the game sat and passed such resolutions, we shall appeal,” he said.
Separately, Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch has also been slapped with a one-match ban after being found guilty of assaulting a match official.
These two rulings have been announced barely a month after FKF spelt out tough measures to curb the rising cases of crowd trouble witnessed during league matches this season.
The incidents involving Gor and Leopards also led to the temporary suspension of their sponsorship from betting firm SportPesa, who are also the league’s title sponsors.
However, SportPesa has since resumed their sponsorship of the two clubs.