NAIROBI, Kenya, July 29- AFC Leopards face a possible Sh5m fine after they made good their threat to boycott their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Top 8 quarterfinal against archrivals Gor Mahia on Sunday.
Consequently, Gor were awarded the match and now face league champions Tusker FC in the semi final with KPL chief executive, Jack Oguda, stating Ingwe would be hit by sanctions for forcing officials to call off the televised tie after a 15 minute wait.
“I’m disappointed, this is the first time we are witnessing this kind of scenario since we turned professional and it dents the image of our football.
“Failure to honour matches has its repercussions and due to contractual obligations with various stakeholders, we will put them into a lump sum and pass it on to AFC Leopards,” the CEO added after the match was called off.
K’Ogalo arrived at the stadium in time for the kick off scheduled for 3.00pm and walked onto the pitch alongside the match officials led by centre referee Sylvester Kirwa but their rivals who had promised a no show kept good their word.
The ‘Green Army’ fans had turned up in numbers and looked all set for the big clash with only a handful of Leopards supporters present at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani for what was to be the second derby between the fierce rivals this season.
Match Commissioner Paul Kaunda, said they were content with the arrangements and were hopeful the match would take place even after Leopards skipped the pre-match meeting on Sunday morning where Gor were represented by Team Manager Tom Ogweno.
“The organizers appointed top-notch referees for this derby and all the details were in place as per our mandate.
“We have waited for the team since 2.00pm and given them the benefit of doubt but if they don’t arrive eventually I will have to call off the game and prepare a comprehensive match report,” explained Kaunda as Gor took their positions on the pitch.
Leopards chairman Alex Ole Magelo cited financial constraints owing to the freezing of their club account after court cases lodged by their rivals led by Ssemi Aina, failure by organisers to consult his club on the rescheduled fixture and security concerns as reasons behind the decision to forsake the fixture.
They now risk a Sh5m penalty payable to KPL, broadcast sponsors SuperSport who had set up to air the match live and Sport Stadia Management Board for the expenses incurred in the preparations for the match.
Oguda announced fans who had bought tickets for this tie will use them during the semi final against Tusker on Thursday.
“This is a Sh10m investment that is part of our contract with SuperSport to be received if all the tournament matches are played but this is unlikely to come our way.
“We will have to hold consultations to come to a decision on how we deal with this development,” he explained in what might set a precedent in future circumstances.
The tie was initially scheduled for April 1 but had been postponed due to unavailability of a venue after Gor were banned from the SSMB facilities due to crowd trouble during a league derby against Leopards in March.