NAIROBI, Kenya, October 24- Get the open top bus ready and the champagne box opened! The party for the 2013 champions, Gor Mahia can now officially start even without the hustle of kicking a ball in anger.
K’Ogalo are the 2013 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) winners after they were awarded maximum points in their abandoned match against Sony Sugar, played on September 1 at the Green Stadium in Awendo.
In a letter addressed to the KPL by Jack Oguda, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Appeals Committee has finally ruled after weeks of suspense that Sony were liable for the cancellation of the match on 84 minutes when the new champions scored a contest equaliser for 2-2.
“The match reports indicate that Sony Sugar technical bench led by their coach and captain confronted the first Assistant referee to protest the goal awarded and that the conduct of the coach and his captain provoked Gor Mahia fans who pulled down the perimeter fence.
“It further states one fan pushed the coach to the ground and not amused, Sony Sugar fans also joined in.
“It is our finding that from the moment the Sony technical bench and captain rushed to the first Assistant to protest the goal, the game never resumed and could not have resumed even if both teams wanted to play,” the letter read.
It added: “What happened thereafter was a consequence of the initial action and whoever initiated it caused the abandonment hence, Sony should be held liable and forfeit the same.”
While Gor can now begin the title party for the first time since 1995, Sony have been left with an almighty battle to fight to avoid relagation since they are only a point adrift of 15th placed Kakamega Homeboyz with now a game in hand.
Their game against Chemelil Sugar set for Wednesday was cancelled after the cane cutters request KPL to defer the match since a number of their players were still receiving treatment following assault by Gor fans after their GOtv semi last Saturday won 4-2 on spot kicks by the champions.
The two encounters have fractured the relationship between the two clubs who until former Gor coach, Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, took charge had always been cordial with Sony referred to as ‘Gor B’.
Gor only needed a point against Kakamega Homeboyz to seal the title or AFC Leopards to drop points against Karuturi later Thursday but now all that is academic.
In the letter to KPL, FKF further urged the league management to consider the following to stem acts of insecurity in matches.
Match Commissioners for games should be independent and firm, considering security of fans and players when deciding venues for volatile games and only reports from the Centre Referee and the Match Commissioner should be tendered for appeals.