Football Football

Top 8 tourney put on ice


NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17- The crunch Kenya Premier League (KPL) Top 8 quarterfinal clash between archrivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards has been postponed yet again due to stadium unavailability.

According to Sports Stadia Management Board (SSMB), Gor have not compensated the board for damages caused by their rampaging fans on their facilities at Nyayo Stadium in March during their league derby against Ingwe hence the ban from their stadia still stands.

“Under the circumstances, the board will not change its position unless you prevail upon the club to respond to this issue,” a statement from the board addressed to the KPL read in part.

Consequently, the semifinal tie featuring Sony Sugar and Ulinzi Stars has also been put on ice KPL CEO, Jack Oguda announced on Thursday.

“At the moment, it seems that until Gor respond to SSMB, we will have to put on hold this tournament, since we cannot have a semi taking place yet we are still not through with the quarters,” explained Oguda.

Oguda maintained the most appropriate venues to hold the big clash are SSMB managed stadia as they are committed to ensure the passionate fans of both clubs do not collide on a ground where security cannot be guaranteed.

“We cannot hold the match this weekend at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium due to safety and security reasons besides the fact that it has infrastructural challenges for such a high magnitude contest,” the KPL CEO observed.

Leopards insisted that they would not honour the tie until stringent measures were taken against Gor for the incident that was sparked by a refereeing decision that saw K’Ogalo’s Victor Ali sent off in a match that ended goalless.

The chief executive said consultations will continue to resolve the stalemate but pointed out the onus lay on Gor.

K’Ogalo secretary general George Bwana however, denied that they were holding back the tournament’s progress but could not clarify why they had not responded to the board.

“The match is organized the KPL, we are still ready to have it take place at the City Stadium and move on,” he added.