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Ulinzi to be awarded points from botched AFC match

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Ulinzi Stars players celebrating after scoring against Muhoroni Youth in  SPL match.PHOTO/Tiomothy Olobulu

Ulinzi Stars players celebrating after scoring against Muhoroni Youth in SPL match.PHOTO/Tiomothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, April 25 – Ulinzi Stars will be awarded three points from their abandoned match against AFC Leopards on Saturday evening in Mumias, after the Kenya Premier League management received the referee’s report from the match.

KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda has also revealed the case will come for mention at the Independent Disciplinary Committee on Thursday where more sanctions will be meted on AFC.

“We are still waiting for the match commissioner’s report but we have already received one from the referee. The points will be awarded to Ulinzi since it was AFC fans who caused abandonment,” Oguda told Capital Sport.

The match was called off by the match officials in the 81st minute after rowdy AFC supporters threw projectiles into the pitch contesting a penalty awarded to Ulinzi Stars after Yakubu Ramadhan hacked down Churchill Muloma inside the box.

The two teams were tied at 1-1, coincidentally all goals having been scored from the penalty spot.

Also coming for mention on Thursday at the IDCC is a case against Gor Mahia, some of their fans having attacked the second assistant referee during their match against Tusker FC on April 16 and caused stoppage protesting a penalty.

League sponsors SportPesa who also happen to sponsor the two clubs have been dismayed with the recent proceedings over fan conduct. Speaking during a media workshop with journalists on Saturday in Naivasha, SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri asked KPL to be more proactive in dealing with cases of hooliganism.

“This is something that we have tried to work on as sponsors and we have recently hired a security officer to help us deal with this. There have also been talks with Police over the same and we should be able to eradicate this vice once and for all because it is hurting our sport,” Karauri commented.

He adds; “I think KPL should be more strict and proactive and they should do more to punish clubs and individuals caught.”

Among the sanctions that might be slapped on both teams include playing matches behind closed doors and/or fines over damages. A number of Gor fans who caused mayhem after their match against Tusker outside the stadium were arrested by Police and charged for malicious damage of property.

Meanwhile, Mathare United continued their good start to the season, moving on top of the standings despite a one-all draw with Muhoroni Youth at the Nyayo Stadium on Sunday. Mathare’s move to the top was aided by Tusker’s slip up in a 1-0 loss to Posta Rangers.

“I think we are starting to believe in ourselves and we are getting more confident which is something good for us. We only hope we can maintain the same momentum throughout,” Coach Francis Kimanzi said.

Despite the loss, Tusker remained second on the log, just a point shy of Mathare. AFC Leopards are third with 18 points while Posta’s three points against Paul Nkata’s Tusker takes them to fourth. With the three points awarded from the AFC match, Ulinzi will leap to fifth on the standings.

Despite having one of the strongest teams in the league, Bandari have slumped, going for the fifth match in a row without a win losing 2-0 to Western Stima at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu. The dockers dropped to tenth with the result, a worrying trend for Sheikh Twahir Muhiddin and his dream of pushing Bandari to be title contenders this season.

At the same time, Sofapaka broke an eight match losing streak when they beat City Stars 1-0 at the Nyayo National Stadium, goalkeeper turned striker Barnabas Tiema scoring the all important goal. David Ouma’s boys though remain bottom of the table on goal difference but the tactician is confident the win can spur them off the drop zone.

SPL WEEKEND RESULTS

Saturday; Gor Mahia 1 Sony Sugar 0, City Stars 0 Sofapaka 1, AFC Leopards 0 Ulinzi Stars 2 (Match awarded to Ulinzi Stars after abandonment), Western Stima 2 Bandari 0, Kakamega Homeboyz 2 Thika United 1, Chemelil Sugar 1 Ushuru 0

Sunday; Tusker FC 0 Posta Rangers 1, Mathare United 1 Muhoroni Youth 1

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