NAIROBI, Kenya, May 4 – Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi has had his six-match suspension by the Kenyan Premier League Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee slashed to four matches after a successful appeal at the Appeals Committee.
The tactician had been slapped with a month-long ban which would have covered six matches after an incident last season in his side’s match against Sofapaka which saw the game stopped for 17 minutes after protesting his sending off.
“I think it is the right decision and as a club we are very happy that the ban has been reduced. In our opinion we didn’t think it was a justified decision and also, why did they have to wait until April for something that happened in November last year?” assistant coach Salim Ali who has been holding forte in Kimanzi’s absence posed.
He added; “In Mathare, we all share the same philosophy from the head coach going down but when you have the head of the team missing, it is something different. We have really missed him on the touchline and it is great he is back,”
Kimanzi has missed three matches; the 5-1 drubbing away to Ulinzi Stars, the 0-0 draw at home against Chemelil Sugar and last weekend’s 1-0 victory against 15-time champions Gor Mahia. His last match off the touchline will be Friday’s clash against Bandari in Machakos.
The 12th placed Mathare will hope their new found form after beating Gor will spur them on against the dockers with Ali making it clear they will be going for nothing short of three points.
“Of course the victory against Gor gave us so much confidence, but that is now gone and this is a different game all together with a different strategy. It will be a tough match because Bandari has very experienced players with quality,” the tactician opined.
“But Mathare United we know we have the talent and that is what we will work with for this match. We are going to fight for the three points because we need to go back to the top,” he added.
Ali has also lauded the young players who he says have been growing game by game since the opening day of the season, adding they have learnt tough lessons more so from the 5-1 thrashing at Ulinzi Stars.
The Slum Boys have never lost to Bandari and last season, they completed a double. They hope the script does not change when they lock horns in Machakos.
In the other match set to be played on Friday, Kariobangi Sharks will take on Sony Sugar at the same venue in a match set to kick off at 4:15pm.