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Ingwe to ‘boycott’ Kinoru Top 8 final

LEOPARDS-NILE-BASINNAIROBI, Kenya, June 11 – A showdown looms between GOtv champions AFC Leopards and KPL over staging Sunday’s Top 8 final to Meru’s Kinoru Stadium.

Leopards have declared on Wednesday they will not travel to Meru for the decider if they sail to the final hours before facing KCB in the return leg of their last-four at Nairobi’s Nyayo national Stadium.

On their part, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) maintains the final will be held at Kinoru since they retain the authority to select venues as all participating clubs in the knock-out tournament are aware.

CEO, Jack Oguda, remained firm the venue will not change despite Leopards raising concerns.

“The tournament rules are very clear that it’s upon us the tournament organizers to decide on the venues of the matches and that’s why some of the matches were played in Nakuru, Machakos and recently Meru.

“This year, our intention was to spread the game to the grassroots by holding some of the matches in the counties. In this case, the County Government of Meru has agreed to sponsor the final so we are not changing the venue,” the KPL chief held.

Oguda, told Capital Sport, KCB will contest for the trophy against Tusker should Leopards fail to honour the match should they progress.

Ingwe feel Kinoru will give home ground advantage to Tusker and this negates the spirit of fair play that suggests such games should be held on neutral ground.

“Leopards are not a village team; they should respect us and since I’m confident we are going to defeat KCB, KPL should be ready to change the venue since we are not going to play in Meru.

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“They should consider taking the match to another venue but not Kinoru,” Leopards Secretary General, George Aladwa stormed when contacted over the matter.

The Bankers enter the clash with an away goal advantage after holding Ingwe to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Two seasons ago, Leopards forfeited their Top 8 match to arch-rivals Gor Mahia on security grounds as attempts to field a second string side were resisted by organisers.

At the time, a league encounter that preceded the game between the pair ended in a number of Ingwe fans injured and property destroyed.

Since making the switch to Kinoru from Nairobi’s Ruaraka Grounds, Tusker has not lost any match in three against, KRA, league champions Gor Mahia and Mathare United.

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