NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – In a bid to curb hooliganism, mobile courts will be introduced in the stadia, according to SportPesa CEO Ronald Karuri, who made the announcement while reinstating the sponsorship of Kenyan Premier League giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.
Speaking Tuesday, Karuri said both AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia have agreed to develop security plan to show how they will deal with crowd trouble.
“The clubs were to lose sponsorship during the suspension but when we met, we decided against it because there is commitment from police. There will be stewards recruitment by National Youth Service on behalf of SportPesa,” Karuri declared.
“Police will provide non uniformed officers to mingle with fans to root out trouble causing supporters. There will also be security meeting three hours before the match to strategize,” Karuri added.
Gor Mahia and Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier welcomed the move to have the sponsor back but appealed to fans to maintain decorum and peace in the stadium.
“We are grateful to SportPesa for lifting the ban. The development was useful and the ban was deserved because we have to send a message that the behavior is unwelcomed. We have gone through a difficult time to convince SportPesa that they should come back, I am appealing to our fans to embrace peace at our stadia,” Rachier urged.
AFC Leopards chairman, Dan Mule said, “As a club we are committed to fight hooliganism. We have given our stewards 30 days to produce certificate of good conduct. We have also forwarded the Mumias fracas to the police and the guys who stormed the pitch will be arrested.”
SportPesa closed their financial taps on the two clubs April 26, due to cases of hooliganism.
A section of Leopards fans caused abandonment of their match against Ulinzi Stars April 23 in Mumias while a week before, Gor fans caused chaos during their match against Tusker FC in Nairobi where some fans attacked match officials.