Football Football

Gor, Alger to go on despite Sports Kenya letter

Gor Mahia fans cheer their team on during their friendly match against Hull City at Kasarani on May 13, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14- A letter from Sports Kenya on Monday evening ‘temporarily suspending’ all football activities at the Kasarani Stadium has caused jitters among football fans ahead of Wednesday evening’s CAF Confederation Cup Group D tie between Gor Mahia and Algerian outfit USM Alger.

The letter signed by Sports Kenya Acting Director General Salma Ondimu cited destruction of property by Gor fans on Sunday during the friendly match against Hull City as the reason for suspending activities at the ground.

But, according to Public Relations Officer Rakki Asman, the USM Alger game will go on.

“There should be no worry about that game. It will go on as planned. It is true there was a lot of destruction of property after and during the game but we will deal with this after this game,” Asman told Capital Sport.

“This is a big game and CAF have already been to the stadium and given it a go ahead. It will not be logistically possible to switch the game with the opponents already in town and having made plans,” added the communications chief.

In the letter, Ondimu said that a probe team would be formed to analyze the damage and come up with ways of preventing similar occurrences.

The aerial view of the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani as taken on May 9, 2018. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

“This (closure) is informed by the unfortunate happenings during the game between Gor Mahia and Hull City  where fans destroyed seats and other properties in and outside the stadium. The extent of the damage is being established,” the letter read in part.

Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda confirmed receipt of the letter and said it would be practically impossible to switch the match venue to the alternative which is Machakos, almost 60km away from the city with less than 48 hours to match day.

“I don’t know whether they (Sports Kenya) really understand the repercussions because this is no friendly. This is a CAF Sanctioned match which requires a lot of meticulous preparations and you can’t just change venues,” Aduda lamented.

Gor have also planned to host Yanga and Rayon Sport on the same venue in their consequent CAF home games. They might also be drawn to playing some of their KPL home games at the venue with head coach Dylan Kerr constantly lamenting about the state of the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

“We will find a solution especially on who to bill because this was a Gor Mahia game but organized by SportPesa. Those are details that we will work on but we will work on a solution,” Asman added.