NAIROBI, Kenya, March 20 – AFC Leopards chairman, Alex Ole Magelo, remained adamant that his team will not honour their April 1st Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Top 8 knockout tournament fixture against arch rivals Gor Mahia.
“Even if the federation has shifted the tie to Mbaraki Sports Ground in Mombasa, we are not going to show up until the necessary punishment is given to Gor Mahia to act as a deterrence to future acts of hooliganism,” a visibly upset Ole Magelo told capital sports.
He added that he has already lodged an appeal against the results of the match and is demanding that AFC is awarded the three points.
“I have the receipt for the Sh60,000 fees needed to file an appeal and expect the concerned authorities to act with speed.”
The chair stressed that the acts of disorder exhibited by the Gor fans within and outside the precincts of the stadium were not only shameful but also worrying for the future of the sport in the country.
“As we speak we have AFC fans in various hospitals in the city nursing injuries from attacks by Gor fans and we haven’t even received an official apology from the club officials,” fumed Ole Magelo.
Despite welcoming the move from the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to suspend KPL Head of Security GMT Ottieno as well as giving the Operations, Liaison and logistics officer Frank Okoth a week’s notice to show why he should not be punished, the chairman was of the view that it did not translate to a reprimand for the team that was involved in the riots.
“Our players and technical team security was put at risk during the match as we were held under siege by the rowdy fans, besides having our fans particularly the ladies harassed even in the city centre and estates only to be rescued by peace loving Kenyans like the Matatu crews.”
Gor Mahia fans on Sunday protested a referee decision to send off Victor Ali in the 66th minute following a harsh tackle on Leopards Amon Muchiri during their derby at the Nyayo stadium that saw the match halted temporarily for over 25 minutes.
The incident made sections of the Gor fans take matters in their own hands by throwing stones and had to be tear-gassed out of the stadium before they regrouped outside and went on to riot into the city centre.
Ole Magelo wants stiff penalties imposed on Gor since the team has become synonymous with violence from their fans in their KPL matches.