NAIROBI, Kenya, October 13 – Three months down the line, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match No. 128 between Sony Sugar and AFC Leopards is yet to be decided as the controversial fixture took its latest twist on Monday in another sad tale of the basket case that is the country’s football.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) issued a directive overturning the Independent Disciplinary Appeals Committee’s (IDAC) ruling that the controversial match be replayed on Thursday in Awendo, continuing the see-saw in a game that on paper has little bearing on the destination of the title or deciding relegation.
This comes a week after FKF’s own IDAC nullified Leopards’ appeal that they be awarded the points owing to Sony’s failure to show up in Nakuru for the match initially scheduled on August 6, thus upholding the decision of KPL’s Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC) for the match to be replayed in Awendo or Kisumu’s Moi Stadium.
The game has stopped being a tussle between two leading clubs and morphed into a supremacy tussle between FKF and KPL.
On Monday, the federation issued a statement differing with KPL on the venue, saying it remains banned until the federation’s technical committee inspects the stadium and with that effect, put the match on hold.
“FKF imposed a ban on the venue (Awendo) after it was classified as a high risk venue to host matches involving Sony vs Leopards and Gor Mahia and the decision was communicated to all clubs, referees, KPL and Match Commissioners.
“The ban on the stadium is still in force until and FKF Technical committee inspects the venue and brings the findings to FKF/KPL technical committee for consideration,” the federation boss Nyamweya blared.
He added, “FKF has requested the Appeals Committee to review their decision on ordering a reply which is contrary to FKF directive to award AFC Leopards the points, therefore the match set for Thursday will not be played until the review of the appeal is heard and determined.”
Earlier in a press conference in the capital Nairobi, Leopards declared they would not to honour the match as directed by IDAC.
Club chairman, Allan Kasavuli, claimed KPL had already awarded them a walkover and demands that decision upheld.
“We will not honour the match in Awendo based on the grounds that we went to Nakuru as advised by KPL and we were given a walkover. Sony never wrote any protest letter seeking KPL to postpone the match.
“The report that was issued by the referee that particular day indicated that we were awarded the points and we don’t feel if it’s fair for us to go to an already soiled match,” Kasavuli declared.
Leopards opposed the earlier decision directed by KPL that they risk being fined Sh1m if they abandoned the fixture, saying they don’t need any compensation from the aborted match against the Sugar Millers.
Ingwe claimed IDCC was being biased, accusing them of not hearing their appeal against Muhoroni Youth alleging that their fans were attacked when the two sides met in the first-leg in Muhoroni.
“The points should reflect on the table, we appealed against Muhoroni where our fans were attacked and nothing has been done so far, our case has not been heard.
“We fail to understand how IDAC upheld IDCC’S decision on technical grounds since we confirmed that the appeal was sent in time and money paid. We don’t want any compensation.
“They want us to go to relegation, we were there and we came back and we can’t go back there,” the chairman added.
On their part KPL through CEO, Jack Oguda, told Capital Sport they will hold a joint meeting with FKF Tuesday to make a final decision on the controversial league match
“We have called for a joint meeting of federation and ourselves to make a final decision on the matter on Tuesday.
“FKF’s Appeals Committee called for submissions from us and we gave it as required and we are surprised that we are being accused of not giving the committee vital information,” the KPL chief told.
Leopards are 12th on 32 points and if they are awarded the Sony match, then they will leapfrog Muhoroni at seventh.
With the league ending next month, when will the match No.128 circus end and who will emerge the victor? Stay tuned for the next round of FKF-KPL musical chairs!