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AFC Leopards vow to challenge FKF sanctions legally

  • Leopards were handed hefty sanctions after crowd trouble
  • Their game against Kakamega Homeboyz was abandoned after fans stormed the pitch.
  • Leopards have termed the sanctions unfair

AFC Leopards have vowed to exhaust all legal means to ensure they get what they term as a fair ruling after they were slapped with heavy sanctions by the Football Kenya Federation following their abandoned tie against Kakamega Homeboyz away at the Bukhungu Stadium.

Leopards were docked three points, the abandoned match awarded to Homeboyz, ordered to play four home matches behind closed doors and fined Sh500,000 following the abandonment.

According to the Federation’s ruling, Leopards fans were at fault for causing the abandonment after they stormed the pitch and attacked the match officials.

In a statement by the management led by chairman Dan Shikanda, Leopards have accused the Federation of not taking into account their submissions during the hearing and only leaning towards one side.

They have also said they were not made aware of the submissions forwarded by Homeboyz and the match commissioner.

Presented compelling evidence 

“We presented compelling evidence that there were inadequate security measures and also there was poor officiating and biasness in the match commissioner’s report. The match com’s report seemed to have influenced the committee’s decision. Our presentation was disregarded and they did not take into account the issues of inadequate security and biased officiating,” Shikanda said.

He added; “We are not aware of the evidence presented by Homeboyz to the Committee. The lack of transparency and information regarding the opposing team’s submissions undermines the integrity and fairness of the decision making process,” Shikanda said in the statement.

According to Shikanda, no sanctions have been imposed on Homeboyz, as the home team, who were responsible for the security arrangements of the game.

He said that the issue of inadequate police officers was raised even in the pre-match meeting, but nothing was done.

“I only counted eight uniformed police officers which is inadequate for even a school match,” a distraught Shikanda noted.

Raised issues on performance of the referee 

The club’s management have also raised issues on the performance of the centre referee terming him as incompetent and have also questioned why the Federation has not taken any action against him.

They have also defended coach Patrick Aussems and goalkeeper trainer Lawrence Webo whom the Committee said will open separate investigations on.

Shikanda says that Aussems did not ignite the crowd to violence, but instead asked his players to go back to the dressing room after fans stormed the pitch.
“We want to urge FKF to review and reconsider this decision taking into account the evidence that we have provided on safety and we also call for greater transparency and fairness in decision making by the committee. We will not rest until our concerns are addressed,” added Shikanda.

He has also added that fining the club and ordering them to play behind closed doors is double punishment as they will lose all income from their gate collections.

“Leopards have really worked hard to have fans back into the stadium through our mobilization exercises and now playing for four matches behind closed doors is a huge punishment because we will lose so much revenue,” Shikanda said.

He added; “Now we will have to go for only away games and take all our money to our opponents.”

Leopards host KCB on Saturday and this is expected to be their first of four home matches behind closed doors.

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