NAIROBI, Kenya, September 18- The much anticipated Tusker Premier League (TPL) derby between AFC Leopards and rivals Gor Mahia has been brought forward to Saturday owing to security concerns from the Football Kenya Federation.
Speaking to Capital Sport on Tuesday, Kenyan Premier League CEO Jack Oguda confirmed the federation sought the change from Sunday due to availability of adequate security personnel to take charge of the potentially volatile match.
“The federation was concerned that having the derby on the same day as the final of the Safaricom 7s would not guarantee enough security for the match.
“In view of the seriousness of the tie, we communicated the same to the two teams who were in agreement about the changes and the match will now be held on Saturday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani,” said Oguda.
During the first leg encounter in March at the Nyayo Stadium, the game was halted for a couple of minutes in the second half after a section of Gor fans protested a referee decision to send off midfielder Victor Ali following a harsh tackle on Ingwe’s defender Ammon Muchiri.
The issue resulted to the banning of Gor by the Sports Stadia Management Board from their facilities delaying the playing of the Top 8 quarter final tie in April between the two sides.
The top of the table clash billed as the biggest game of the season will see the bitter rivals face off in what could shape the destiny of the TPL title.
AFC Leopards are second on the log after they were dislodged by champions Tusker on Monday following their 2-0 won over KCB at the City Stadium while Gor are two points adrift in third.
A win for K’Ogalo would take them to the top of the standings on 46 and give them a true reflection on their title charge which Croat coach Zdravko Logarusic has played down in the recent days.
With six matches remaining, the stakes are getting higher for the title chasers who also include Thika United on 42, 2009 winners Sofapaka and 2010 champions Ulinzi tied at 40 points.