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FKF bans GMT Ottieno over derby fracas

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NAIROBI, Kenya, March 19- The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has come out in force to rein in on the Kenyan Premier League following the skirmishes that marred Sunday’s derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

FKF boss, Sam Nyamweya, announced on Monday the immediate ban of KPL Head of Technical, Safety and Security, GMT Ottieno from all football activity.

The Chief Operations, Logistics and League Liaison Officer at the league management body, Frank Okoth, was given seven days to explain why he should not be sanctioned over the handling of the match in the immediate aftermath of the flare-up.

In what is set to bring the simmering cold war between FKF and KPL to the surface, Nyamweya ordered the latter to give a report on the security arrangements in place for the game within 48 hours with the federation set to take over ticketing and security arrangements of all league matches.

“They should also tell us what action they intend to take on those found guilty over what happened. We do not want a repeat of that ever again,” the FKF chief added.

During the turbulent game that ended in a 0-0 stalemate, crowd trouble following the sending off of Gor’s Victor Ali in the 68th minute saw the match held up for over 25 minutes.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the rowdy Gor fans that went on rampage outside the grounds, engaging their rivals when the game ended with several motorists stoned in the fracas that moved to Nairobi’s City Centre.

“We asked Okoth to attend a meeting on Thursday and Friday to discuss the security arrangements of the match but he ignored.

“They also need to explain why the game that had been delayed for over 15 minutes continued. We do not want to risk the lives of Kenyans and this should never happen again,” Nyamweya stormed as he berated KPL for not calling off the match.

FKF accused Ottieno, a veteran administrator of impunity charging that many teams had lodged complaints against his high handedness. On Sunday, Nyamweya alleged, the banned Otieno assaulted AFC Leopards officials who pressed for the match to be called off following the melee.

The security chief was also accused of over-stepping his mandate after he allegedly wrote a terse letter to Leopard’s top striker, Allan Wanga over his conduct during the KPL game against Muhoroni Sugar.

He put KPL to task for failing to take action on known football hooligans in their matches despite the knowledge of their identities saying this had encouraged them to continue their vile acts of violence.

At the same time, FKF announced the KPL Top 8 fixture pitting the two rivals will now be moved to Mombasa on April 1 as a means of controlling further outbreak of violence between the fervently opposed fans.

AFC chair, Alex Ole Magelo had called on KPL to award his team the three points following the outbreak of the violence blamed on irate Gor fans while endorsing the decision to move the domestic cup match to the Coast.

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