The much awaited derby has been postponed

By Tony Owori: Wednesday, May 3rd 2017 at 10:16 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia Medie Kagere(L) and Andrew Tololwa of AFC Leopards battle for ball possession during their KPL match at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday 23/10/16.PHOTO.BONIFACE OKENDO

The big local premier league match pitting arch-rivals AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia has been postponed to an unknown date due to unavailability of an appropriate venue to host the tie.

That was confirmed by Kenya Premier League (KPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jack Oguda yesterday.

The match was previously scheduled for this coming weekend at Afraha stadium in Nakuru and speaking to The Standard Sports, Oguda said they received a letter from the club (AFC Leopards), which was to host the match, that there were major security concerns.

“We received a letter from AFC Leopards (the host) that they inspected the venue and there are concerns about security issues. They said the entrances to the venue are just too small to serve a large number of fans within a short time as well as the the exit gates, which too are not good enough in case of any incident,” said Oguda.

He added: “It was confirmed there is need to have a buffer zone and it will not be possible to put an effective one at Afraha stadium. 

The KPL CEO added that they had previously written to stadia management to allow them stage the match at either Nyayo stadium or Kasarani but a response was yet to be received.

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“A while back, we had appealed to stadia management to allow us have the match at Nyayo stadium but they never responded. We again did a letter on the same and we are hopping a response will come through. We are left with no option but to put the match on hold until such a time when the two venues will be available.” 

Confirming the changes, Gor Mahia CEO Ludovick Aduda said they had received a word from KPL and they support the decision by AFC Leopards and KPL to have the match postponed.

“We did receive a communication form KPL about the match and we truly support the decision. Afraha Stadium is just too small for such a match when there is good attendance. The biggest thing is safety of fans, which should come first. We will wait for any further word on when and where the match will be played,” stated Aduda.

The venues (Nyayo and Kasarani stadium) that have been hosting the matches are closed for renovations for the 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships coming up in July.