KPL to press disciplinary charges after Top 8 final is abandoned
The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will press disciplinary charges after rowdy Gor Mahia fans forced the Top 8 final against Muhoroni Youth to be called off in the final seconds of added time as the disrupted match at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi ended in bedlam.
The trophy was presented to Muhoroni in their dressing room after the shambolic climax to the final with the score standing at 1-0 in their favour courtesy of a breakaway goal from Kennedy Rono before the tie was first stopped and later it has emerged, abandoned.
“Because it is a hooliganism matter, it has to go through the disciplinary process. We will lodge a case with the IDCC (Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Commission).
“I’m made to understand the referee called off the match and so, we will have to decide the next course of action and tomorrow (Monday) we will give you some feedback,” KPL chief executive, Jack Oguda, told Citizen Digital at the bowels of the stadium.
Irate K’Ogalo fans went on the rampage with eight minutes of normal time to go protesting over perceived poor officiating by a linesman and against their coach, Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira who was about to bring on Jacob Keli in attack forcing the game to be held up for almost 15 minutes.
Gor Captain Jerim Onyango and his assistant Musa Mohammed aided the stewards in restoring calm and the game resumed before further acts of hooliganism saw centre referee Anthony Ongwayo call-off the game as both sets of fans rushed out of the pitch.
In the final few seconds, trouble started afresh when Gor Mahia’s Italian physiotherapist Sandro Fantoni and KPL’s Security Committee chairman GMT Ottieno engaged in heated argument resulting in fisticuffs that prompted stewards to intervene.
The two pushed each other to the field and with all attention on them fans resumed hurling objects to the field of play occasioning the decision to abandon the match.
Police had no choice but to lob teargas again to disperse them players, officials and ball boys fled for their lives.
After about 15 minutes Muhoroni were handed the trophy inside their dressing room an act that their stand in coach, Tom Juma regretted.
“It would have been interesting to be presented with the trophy before everyone but it’s unfortunate that it is in Gor Mahia’s fans’ DNA to never accept defeat.
“In modern football it’s good to appreciate you cannot win everything. Hooliganism cannot help them, sometimes you have to accept defeat so that you correct yourself,” the former K’Ogalo player rued.
Gor were docked three league points after their fans flared-up trouble in their first-leg clash with leaders Tusker FC and should they be found guilty of hooliganism acts again, their slim hopes of a fourth-straight KPL crown could disappear down the drain.
They risk being docked six points and a hefty fine if the club if found culpable of occasioning Sunday’s shameful incident with no official from the team available to give their side of the story at Nyayo.