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Leopards spared fines, Top 8 to go on

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NAIROBI, Kenya, August 1- AFC Leopards have escaped huge financial penalties for boycotting their Sunday Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Top 8 derby clash against Gor Mahia.

In a statement, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Sam Nyamweya added they have permitted the knock-out tournament to forge ahead as scheduled with the walkover result being upheld which means Gor will face league champions Tusker on Thursday in the semi at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“For the interest of the sponsors and that of football development in the country, FKF has allowed the Top 8 remaining matches to proceed as per the fixtures.”

“However, FKF has nullified any fines imposed on AFC Leopards for not honouring the match in question. The result of the disputed match is upheld,” Nyamweya said in his Wednesday declaration.

The chair said the verdict had been reached following a meeting between FKF and KPL to seek a solution to the stand-off that threatened to open another fissure in the management of Kenyan football.

“FKF will review the staging of Top 8 in the future and also orders all the clubs participating, FKF and KPL to hold consultative meeting to agree on the modalities of the administration of the tournament,” Nyamweya added while emphasising the mandate of KPL was restricted to the management of the top flight club competition.

Speaking to Capital Sport, KPL CEO, Jack Oguda, confirmed they had pressed their case to the federation during the meeting and they would consult over the verdict.

“Our chairman will give a response to the matter once we meet but for now, we are bound by the federation’s directives. We are also seeking to have AFC and Gor officials in a consultative meeting of how their matches are going to be conducted,” he explained.

AFC were facing fines to the upward of Sh5m after they stuck to their threat of not honouring the Top 8 tie including costs of printing tickets, hiring the stadium, hiring security and broadcast time of sponsors SuperSport who are obligated to cover the tournament live.

The competition brings the top eight finishers of the preceding KPL season in a knock-out format in a winner-takes-all format with the champion pocketing Sh1m. Ulinzi won the inaugural tournament last year.

AFC boycotted their quarterfinal against archrivals Gor citing concerns about security arrangements as well as lack of consultation on the match that was deferred in late April after K’Ogalo were banned from Sports Stadia Management Board facilities after their fans were blamed on skirmishes that rocked their KPL derby at Nyayo.

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