|Mathare United players celebrate after beating AFC leopards 1-0 at the City Stadium, Nairobi, on Saturday. [PHOTO: STAFFORD ONDEGO / STANDARD]|
By Gilbert Wandera and John Lawrence
Mathare United and Thika United collected maximum points during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) matches at City Stadium on Saturday.
Mathare United stopped AFC Leopards 1-0, while Thika registered a similar score against KCB.
The Mathare and Leopards match was, however, overshadowed by a last minute withdrawal of SuperSport crew. There has been disagreement between Leopards and KPL over their deal with rivals television company Zuku.
Leopards vice chairman Walter Onyino said he was surprised by the decision by SuperSport crew to pull out of televising live their match.
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“According to our schedule this was a live match and we were shocked that they withdrew at the last minute,” he said.
The SuperSport crew pulled out their equipment at the end of the first match pitting Thika and KCB. We could not reach KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda for comment as he did not pick his phone and neither did he answer short text messages sent to him.
Harrison Mwendwa scored in stoppage time to ensure United picked all three points.
Leopards started strongly and forced two corners in the opening minutes.
Allan Wanga was denied by Joseph Ruto early in the match.
Against KCB, Thika started quickly and had their first chance just five minutes into the match.
Thika got their only goal in the 15th minute through Ezekiel Odera.
The rest of the first half saw KCB get a number of good chances, which they failed to utilise, allowing Thika to roll into the half-time break bearing the advantage.
As the second half got underway, KCB’s Brian Osumba managed to the get the ball to Clifford Alwanga just outside Thika’s box.
Alwanga returned it to Osumba, who released a thunderous shot that went marginally wide. Nairobi City Stars stopped Homeboyz 1-0 at Hope Centre.
Meanwhile, the development of Kenyan Premier League hangs in a limbo after SuperSport East Africa, the official KPL broadcast partners suspended live transmisions of all the matches involving AFC Leopards.
The PS Ministry of Information and Communications, Dr Bitange Ndemo, described the saga around AFC Leopards and pay TV channels as a pure act of dishonesty.
“You cannot do a wedding with another person when you are still in a legaly binding marriage,” said Dr Ndemo
SuperSport East Africa’s General Manager, Aoka Gecheo, told FeverPitch that the decision follows the contravention of the agreement between KPL and the South African TV firm.
“The agreement which gives SuperSport exclusive broadcast rights was signed between KPL and SuperSport thus, it remains binding to all the clubs participating in the League,” Aoka told FeverPitch
The Sports Commissioner, Gordon Oluoch also added his voice to the issue, asking KPL management to ensure law and order was followed in the competition.