Gor Mahia were handed a walkover after fierce rivals AFC Leopards boycotted the eagerly anticipated Kenya Premier League (KPL) Top Eight quarter-final clash yesterday at the Moi International Sports Center (MISC), Kasarani. Match officials handed the match victory to Gor Mahia after their would be opponents failed to show up 15 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time.
Gor Mahia instead, engaged Talent Academy in a friendly at the same venue. Gor fans who purchased tickets for the encounter were given the option of using them for Thursday’s semi-final duel against Kenya Premier League champions Tusker. Leopards’ management were categorical that they will not play the match, owing to security fears. They even boycotted security meeting held on Wednesday.
However, KPL Governing Council stood its ground and directed the match be played as scheduled. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) had also written to KPL requesting them to postpone the game after Leopards’ officials petitioned the move. Speaking yesterday on phone, KPL chief executive officer, Jack Oguda, said AFC Leopards will be fined Sh500,000 for the boycott of the match as Gor proceed to the semifinals where they play Tusker. “We will fine AFC Leopards Sh500,000 for the boycott as a first offender and Gor Mahia are awarded the match 2-0 hence proceed to the semifinal, where they play Tusker,” added Oguda.
He observed that Leopards’ fine is likely to escalate if broadcaster SuperSport passes the costs of the match airing to KPL. “We expect a report from SuperSport on the charges incurred in securing the rights for the match and logistic and once we get that we will fine Leopards,” he said. Oguda dismissed allegations by a section of AFC Leopards fans that they are biased towards the club over handling of the matter. “We sent the fixtures on July 16 and they (AFC Leopards) were made aware of the consequences of not honouring the match. KPL have no other option but to punish the team,” he said.
On the league front, hosts Muhoroni beat Oserian 1-0. Harry Gentle scored the lone goal for Muhoroni in the 73rd minute. In another match Karuturi shared spoils with KCB after a 1-1 draw in Naivasha. Jacob Omondi shot Karuturi into lead in the 23rd minute before Ezekiel Omondi ensured a point for KCB in the 75th minute. Elsewhere, Chemelil drew 0-0 with City Star in Chemelil.