NAIROBI, October 28- Gor Mahia will run the homestretch of their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title defence without their beloved fans after they were ordered to play their last two games on empty stadia and fined Sh500,000 (USD5,595.98) for unruly behaviour of the Green Army in Machakos on Sunday.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) cracked the whip after an emergency Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday with KPL and clubs officials from K’Ogalo and Sofapaka who beat them 3-2 in an ill-tempered top-of-the-table contest that opened up the title race with a point separating them at the top in favour of the titleholders.
Hosts Sofapaka were not spared either with the 2009 KPL winners fined Sh300,000 (USD3,357.59) for failing to provide adequate security to contain the expected Green Army invasion at the 5,000-seater Kenyatta Stadium that burst to its seams on Sunday.
Federation bosses also demanded Gor Mahia to produce the rowdy steward who entered the pitch and was caught on live television assaulting Sofapaka goalie, David Okello or face further sanctions.
Okello sparked the third and final stoppage of the game when he incensed K’Ogalo players by holding on to the ball to prevent a quick re-start after Godfrey Kizito scored their second with five minutes to go as they desperately sought to level the match after falling 3-1 behind.
“Due to the fans unruly behaviour and pitch invasion Gor Mahia FC have been fined Sh500,000 payable within seven days. It was also noted that during the match a steward/fan entered the field of play and attacked the Sofapaka FC goalkeeper causing another stoppage.
“In lieu of this attack Gor Mahia FC have been instructed to reveal the identity of the Steward/Fan in order for the Federation to take further action on the individual,” the statement from FKF signed by CEO Michael Esakwa read.
“Arising from the above issues the FKF NEC resolved that Gor Mahia F.C. will play their next two matches in an empty stadium till the end of the season,” it added noting the security provided for the game was inadequate to deal with fans who went on rampage after the game and caused collateral damage to buildings, installations and vehicles besides injuries being reported.
“After perusing all the relevant documents and match reports it was noted that Sofapaka FC were the home team in the match and were responsible for the provision of adequate and elaborate security for the match, however it has been established that there was inadequate security personnel at the venue to take charge of such a high profile match a violation of Article -3.5 Rules of Kenyan Football.
“In lieu of this Sofapaka FC were found guilty of not providing adequate security and hence fined Sh300,000,” the federation explained why Batoto ba Mungu were also punished.
FKF slammed orders banning Gor from playing in Machakos and surcharging them Sh10m for damages by County Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua on Monday following the chaos that followed the K’Ogalo’s 3-2 loss that left the teams on 54 against 53 points with two games to go.
“The Federation would like to take this opportunity to inform the Machakos County Government that according to the laid down procedures they should have channelled their claims to FKF/KPL as they lack the Jurisdiction to fine or ban teams,” the statement said of Mutua’s decrees that included the payment of a cash bond of between Sh10m and Sh20m for K’Ogalo to play in the County.
Gor will thus play Muhoroni Youth on Saturday and Ushuru FC next weekend to wrap their season without their fans whilst Sofapaka have the tougher run in with AFC Leopards coming up before they close against outside challengers Tusker FC.
K’Ogalo fans spilled to the streets of Machakos wrecking havoc in another orgy of football related violence that came barely a week after their ‘in-laws’ Leopards’ supporters rioted causing the abandonment of their GOtv Shield semi against the same Sofapaka side.
Leopards were also ordered to play their remaining games behind closed doors, fined Sh500,000 (USD5,595.98), to pay the home team they face for loss of revenue as well as being stripped the Shield title and expelled from the competition.