By Gilbert Wandera
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) have intervened to have Gor Mahia matches back on air, a day after being switched off by SuperSport due to crowd trouble.
The broadcaster announced after a meeting with Gor Mahia, FKF and KPL that it has temporarily lifted a ban it had slapped on showing Gor matches as we exclusively reported on Wednesday.
A statement signed by FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya and KPL Chairman James Musyoki said the ban has been lifted until investigations into chaos that erupted on Saturday are complete and a report made to the federation.
The federation chairman said they are?determined to get to the root of crowd trouble and deal with it once and for all.
“Such incidents are not good for Kenyan football and keep away sponsors. We are just as concerned about it because it hampers our efforts to attract sponsorship to the sport,” he said.
In the statement Gor, who play home matches at City Stadium,?were ordered to shift them to the Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani until they provide a detailed security report over the events that took place on Saturday.
Following the lifting of the suspension, this Saturday’s FKF semi-final match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will be shown live on SuperSport as earlier planned.
The KPL broadcast right holders wrote to the league company on Monday announcing their decision to switch off Gor from all their broadcasts. This is after fans wearing the team jerseys pelted the SuperSport van and crew with stones and damaged some equipment.
This was the third time that SuperSport was switching off?Gor after crowd trouble involving the club.
Gor Mahia sponsors Tuzo have also?asked the club to apologize to members of the public for the ugly incidences. Elsewhere, AFC Leopards chairman Alex Magelo wants his team to be guaranteed security ahead of the weekend match.
Speaking at the FKF secretariat at Nyayo Stadium after attending a security meeting convened by FKF involving both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards officials, Magelo?said if he will sense?any lapse of security on Saturday, he will withdraw his team from the match
“Security has to be beefed up in and out of the stadium for the safety of players, officials and fans. We would not want lives lost or peopple maimed,”
Magelo said the Leopards management has faith in coach Jan Koops despite the team’s failure to win the Premier League title.
“Everyone is talking about how the team squandered a chance of winning the cup after leading for a long part of the season. A third position is not?bad considering that the team was in an odd placing when Koops took over the coaching reins. For this reason he is still the head coach and we will give him a free hand to sign on players who will bolster the team next season,” he said.
He confirmed that the?club has received several invitations for friendly matches adding that? the club will embark on players and members recruitment ahead of? the new season come next year.