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Shock as Gor, AFC fail to show up in Thika for Mashemeji derby

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | July 31st 2021
Kenneth Muguna (Left) of Gor Mahia FC contest for ball with tussle Elvis Rupia of AFC Leopards SC during their FKF Premier League Match at the MISC, Kasarani stadium on February 7, 2021.[Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kenyan football fans were shocked yesterday after Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards failed to show up for the Mashemeji Derby at Thika Stadium. 

This is after the two clubs differed with the Football Kenya Federation over unpaid money. They accused FKF of failing to remit grants owed to them as winners and runners up respectively of the FKF Cup.

It was the first time in the history of the local league that the derby failed to take place as the two clubs demanded their FKF Cup the dues.

On Friday, Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier and his Leopards counterpart Dan Shikanda had said they won’t play if their Sh3 million joint prize money for winning and finishing runners up respectively in the FKF Cup was not paid.

Having won the trophy on July 4, K’Ogalo are claiming Sh2million from the federation for their win while Leopards claim Sh1million.

Yesterday, they made good their threat by boycotting the 91st Mashemeji Derby but instead organised a friendly match at Camp Toyoyo grounds which Gor won 1-0 courtesy of Sammy Onyango’s goal in the opening half.

The federation had promised to pay the money on or before August 5 but the two clubs wanted to be paid by Friday 4pm or else they boycott the league match.

FKF had warned the clubs that boycotting the match would attract heavy penalties.

“The rules are very clear, communication seeking postponement of matches for any reason should be made at least 72 hours before the planned kick off, which they did not do.

“We (FKF) had also written to all the semi finalist of the FKF Cup indicating there would be delay in payments, at least up to August 5. It is therefore honest to say they are boycotting the match on those grounds,” said the federation.

In response to the boycott, FKF President Nick Mwendwa has called a press conference today at the Safari Park Hotel where he is expected to respond to the matter.

Meanwhile, Kakamega Homeboyz thrashed Kariobangi Sharks 4-1 at ASK Showground in Nakuru as bottom-placed Mathare United scored two late goals to draw Sofapaka 1-1 at Ruaraka Grounds.

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