NAIROBI, Kenya, October 25 – AFC Leopards have lodged an appeal with the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) boss Jack Oguda, stating they will not play Sony Sugar at Green Stadium in Awendo on Sunday due to security concerns and fatigue.
Speaking in Nairobi on Friday, club Secretary General, George Aladwa, said the players were exhausted after participating in back to back KPL and GOtv Shield games and therefore, the team cannot travel to Awendo within 48 hours.
Aladwa requested the tie be reverted to its original neutral venue, Afraha Stadium in Nakuru where it had initially been assigned before the Awendo switch.
“We believe that by Sony losing three points to Gor Mahia as per FKF Appeals Committee ruling yesterday (Thursday) and AFC aiming for the second position finish after the match in question has become a high risk.
“The atmosphere is not right for another big match at Awendo bearing in mind that Sony is fighting relegation,” said Aladwa in thinly veiled reference to the fracas that erupted when champions and arch rivals Gor visited the sugar millers grounds last month in a tie that was abandoned on 86 minutes.
According to Sony chairman, Chris Odero, there is nothing to worry about as far as security is concerned.
“We have played Ulinzi Stars and City Stars here, so those who are saying the state of the ground is in bad condition should come and see for themselves,” Odero stated to Capital Sport.
“We will react after KPL decides on the appeal,” he added on whether they would take to the field in Nakuru if the decision goes against them.
When contacted, Oguda said the matter is being addressed.
“Yes indeed we have received an appeal from Leopards and we are looking at the matter which will be addressed to the press by tomorrow (Saturday),” the KPL boss told Capital Sport.
This comes barely 24 hours after the FKF Appeals Committee urged KPL to ensure Match Commissioners for games should be independent and firm, considering security of fans and players when deciding venues for volatile games and only reports from the Centre Referee and the Match Commissioner should be tendered for appeals.
With three matches to go, Ingwe are second on 44 points while the sugar millers are 14th on 27, one above Kakamega Homeboyz who occupy the other relegation place but with a game in hand.
Sony successfully petitioned KPL to defer their Wednesday game against Chemelil Sugar to November 6 citing injuries to their players sustained after they assaulted by Gor fans last Saturday after their GOtv semi final.