NAIROBI, October 28- Tusker FC hopes of lifting the Kenyan Premier League hang by a thread after Muhoroni Youth were awarded their abandoned tie by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) who found the Brewers guilty of fielding 12 players.
In an extraordinary verdict; FKF gave Muhoroni the contentious game on a 2-0 margin besides fining Tusker head coach, Francis Kimanzi and his assistant Leonard Odipo Sh100,000 each payable in seven days while match officials involved in the October 19 match handed varying punishments.
Fourth official Badir Yassin and first assistant referee Peter Kiereini were slapped with six months suspension each while Oliver Ouma, the second assistant, will sit out for three months. Centre whistler Andrew Juma escaped with a reprimand.
“It was unanimously agreed that indeed Tusker FC fielded 12 players thus violating the rules governing football on the number of players.
“After interviewing the match officials it was established that the four match officials, Centre Referee Andrew Juma, 1st Assistant Peter Kiereini, 2nd assistant Oliver Ouma and 4th official Yassin Badir failed to exercise due diligence by allowing the 12th player to enter the field of play,” the statement delivering the verdict read on Tuesday.
“The committee after perusing the match reports found Tusker FC guilty of serious violation on the football rules and therefore awarded the match to Muhoroni Youth FC on a 2-0 basis.
“The Federation retaliates that its core mandate is to protect the integrity and image of the game and teams and all match officials have been advised to ensure that they conduct themselves with decorum while engaging in football activities,” it added.
Speaking to Capital Sport following the ruling, former Harambee Stars head coach, Kimanzi said their next step depends on the outcome of a meeting of all 16 clubs that make up the KPL.
“This is turning to be a war between KPL and FKF which is not good for our football since we cannot have our game being played in the boardrooms,” the veteran tactician added.
On Friday, FKF overturned KPL’s decision to award Tusker FC thepoints throwing a further unwelcome twist in the title race.
KPL ruled the tie abandoned in the 77th minute at Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium be awarded to the Brewers by a 2-0 victory margin after Muhoroni were found responsible for forcing the premature end of the game.
The league administrators explained the referee had taken appropriate action by booking the offending player Dennis Nzomo after he came on before the man he was replacing Clifford Alwanga left the field of play in a bungled substitution with Kimanzi pointing out the anomaly to the officials from the touchline.
Following the verdict, Tusker remain third on the KPL table but now on 48 points, six adrift of leaders Gor with two matches left and their title chances in tatters.
With their goal difference also slashed to 15, two worse off K’Ogalo, the Brewers need to win their remaining two fixtures with margins of 2-0 and better while hoping the champions and Sofapaka (53) lose to snatch the title they won back to back in 2011 and 12.
Tusker host tricky Thika United on Saturday before rounding their campaign against Sofapaka although the champions could seal the crown this weekend if they beat Muhoroni and the second placed team falls to AFC Leopards.