All eyes on KPL action on Top 8 violence as Derby approaches
KPL finds itself between a rock and a hard place following serious violence that clouded Sunday 16 October KPL Top 8 finals between Gor Mahia and Muhoroni Youth at the Nyayo Stadium.
Of key concern particularly is the scuffle that ensued between KPL’s head of technical and security GMT Otieno and Gor Mahia’s FC trainer Sandro 'Onyango' Fantoni. The match, which had a number of KPL supremos in attendance among them CEO Jack Oguda and chairman Ambrose Rachier saw hooliganism find it’s place in local football again.
Kenya Premier League alongside league sponsors have seemed to struggle to find answers to the hooliganism question, with destruction of property and injuries to fans being the order of the day.
Speaking after the match, Kenya Premier League CEO Jack Oguda who was also caught in the stampede hinted at possible sanctions being slapped on Gor Mahia who have already been disciplined for causing violence in previous league action this season.
-We will lodge a case with the IDCC. We will have to decide the next course of action and tomorrow (Monday) we will give you some feedback, he stated.
At the time of going to press, KPL was yet to issue a statement. It also remains to be seen how KPL handles the small matter of a public fist-fight between GMT Otieno and Fantoni; the Gor Mahia trainer, while speaking after the encounter, pleaded his innocence arguing that GMT assaulted him. The two had to be separated by match stewards and cops, forcing the referee to call off the match.
Fantoni is not new to controversy. Just a few weeks ago, the Brazilian trainer was suspended by IDCC for breach of security rules. The Brazilian had further been accused of gross misconduct including insulting match officials. In a statement, the disciplinary bodyexplained in part;
-......Mr. Fantoni is further put on notice to review and temper his actions/reactions and that any reference to this committee for misconduct within this season if proved shall attract stiffer penalties... The events last Sunday puts Fantoni’s future in doubt, with trainer facing a lengthy ban, or expulsion.
With the derby less than seven days away, KPL is certainly under pressure to clamp down on rogue officials and fans, and prove its intentions in dealing with the vice.