NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – The Kenyan Premier League will launch a probe into the circumstances leading to crowd trouble late on during the Gor Mahia v Ulinzi Stars match at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Sunday.
A section of Gor fans caused a halt of close to 20 minutes after Stephen Waruru scored an 88th minute equalizer, with the club accusing the Ulinzi assasin of making an abusive gesture to the fans thus instigating the violence.
“We have heard of what happened in Kisumu and the circumstances that are said to have led to the violence. As at now we cannot say much because we are yet to get the report from the referee and match commissioner,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda told Capital Sport.
“Once we get that and analyze it, then we can launch a probe and possibly take the matter forward to the Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC),” added the CEO.
Waruru, however, speaking separately has denied any wrongdoing, saying he only stripped his jersey to celebrate the important goal that earned his side a point after racing from two goals down.
“It is a lie. I did not make any abusive gesture to the fans and the most I did was strip my jersey. Those saying that I instigated the violence with my celebration are only trying to find a scapegoat for the actions of the fans,” the forward said.
Gor Mahia had gone 2-0 up with a first half goal from Karim Nizigiyimana and a second half own goal from Mohammed Hassan. Ulinzi though mounted a fight with Waruru grabbing both goals in the 73rd and 88th minutes.
Gor would have opened a slim two point gap at the top of the table had they won, on an evening leaders and defending champions Tusker FC lost for the first time in eight games. K’Ogalo though went top of the standings on goal difference.
Tusker saw their unbeaten run put to a halt by their former head coach Paul Nkata who led Bandari to a 1-0 win in Meru despite going down to nine men with two late red cards to Michael Luvutsi and goal scorer Lewis Cosmas who was making his debut.
It was a huge win for the Coastal side who had not won over their last four matches and the three points lifted them to seventh on the log with 22 points, one shy of Sofapaka who are sixth.
Batoto ba Mungu were stunned with a 2-1 loss at the hands of new comers Nakumatt FC on Saturday, but head coach Sam Ssimbwa was less than impressed with the officiating, pointing it as the main catalyst for their loss.
“If the referee had done things differently, I know we would have won. We were denied two very clear penalties and most of the calls he was making were suspect. I am very disappointed with how the officiating has been and it is not the first time,” a dejected Ssimbwa said.
Nakumatt picked their third win in five games, pushing themselves to ninth on the log.
“Our aim when we came into the league was to avoid relegation. I am happy with how we have performed so far because we are in the middle of the table. We can’t really say much on our targets but once we ensure we are safe, everything else will fall in place,” Nakumatt head coach Antony Mwangi said.
In other results over the weekend, AFC Leopards’ struggles continued as they went down 2-0 to Kariobangi Sharks in Nakuru, extending their domestic drought to nine games.
Ingwe remained 12th on the log but there is enough work on the table of new coach Tom Juma who is however confident he can resuscitate the Leopards from their death bed.
KPL weekend results:
Saturday: AFC Leopards 0 Kariobangi Sharks 2 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Nakumatt 2 Sofapaka 1 (Ruaraka Complex), Nzoia Sugar 0 Thika United 0 (Sudi Stadium), Western Stima 1 Muhoroni 2 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu).
Sunday: Gor Mahia 2 Ulinzi Stars 2 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Posta Rangers 1 Chemelil Sugar 1 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Sony Sugar 0 Kakamega Homeboyz 1 (Awendo), Tusker FC 0 Bandari 1 (Kinoru Stadium, Meru), Zoo Kericho 0 Mathare United 0 (Kericho Green Stadium).