NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 21- The National Police Service and Kenyan Premier League officials have announced that the terrace area above Gate 6 at the Nyayo National Stadium will be used as a buffer zone between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards supporters and will be manned by General Service Unit (GSU) officers when the two sides clash on Sunday.
KPL head of security GMT Ottieno has promised that the decision will be effected to the letter, warning stern action will be taken against anyone trying to break the buffer.
The same has been said over the years in a bid to prevent tension over from either side, but not one time has the decision been kept until the actual day of the match.
“What happened the other time is that these officers started chatting with the fans and befriending them and that’s why you find the buffer was broken. With all due respect to regular police, we have changed this time round and we will use GSU. They will make no friendship with anyone. I will be here myself early in the morning to ensure the same is done,” Ottieno said.
The sentiments were shared by Stephen Ndeti, representing the Commanding Officer of the Lang’ata Police Division, saying the officers will not condone anyone trying to disrupt peace during the match.
“This will be a very peaceful game and I want to assure everything will run smoothly. The police will be at hand to take action on anyone trying to breach a peaceful atmosphere,” Ndeti assured.
A total of 200 police officers will be deployed for the match with home team AFC Leopards also deploying 100 private security officers, mainly to man the VIP area.
“We know it is a match of emotions but I want to call on our fans to exercise restraint. Let’s come, enjoy the match and after enjoy a bottle of beer as brothers,” AFC Leopards Organizing Secretary Timothy Lilumbi offered.
His counterpart from Gor Mahia, David Kiilo said they have engaged fans at a branch level to ensure the tension over the club’s elections does not boil over during the derby as witnessed during the KPL Top 8 final against Muhoroni Youth.
“We have put everything behind and focus on the derby. We have engaged with branch chairmen and urged the fans to keep calm because we are still in the race for the title. We have not given up,” Kiilo said.
Meanwhile, there will not be match day tickets on sale with the home side partnering with sponsors SportPesa to set up an M-Pesa pay-bill number (964850) for ticket purchase.
Fans who wish to buy VIP tickets which are going for Sh1,000 will use 2316 as the account number while fans intending to buy terrace tickets which go for Sh300 will use 2317 as the pay-bill number.