More coaches oppose Gor’s probable coronation in Covid-19 disrupted season
Three Kenyan Premier clubs coaches have joins calls for this season to be cancelled and opposed handing over the trophy to reigning champions Gor Mahia if the coronavirus pandemic, that has claimed eight lives in the country, persists.
Mathare United tactician Salim Ali, Western Stima coach Salim Babu and Kisumu All Stars Andrew Aroka have now joined Posta Rangers coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo who has been advocating for the cancellation of the season should the remaining matches not be played May 24, 2020 when this season was initially scheduled to end.
Ali took issue with those advocating for Gor Mahia to be handed the title using the Football Kenya Federation rule which says that if 75 percent of the matches have already been played the leading team should be declared champions.
According to Section 2.6 of the FKF rules on failure to complete the league, the team leading the standings after 75 percent of the matches have been played shall be declared the winner.
“Where at least one club has played more than 75 percent of the games. The following formular shall be used to determine table position for the respective group. Total number of points earned from the number of games played, multiplied by total number of games supposed to be played divided by the number of games played,” the rule state.
This rule favours Gor Mahia and the current league standing won’t change, meaning Gor will bag their fourth consecutive title.
Ali acknowledged that he is aware of the rule but said it should not apply when the top teams have a narrow gap in between them and are all in a better position to bag the trophy.
“As a coach I know the rules being quoted but even in England they apply when it is evident the top team has left others trailing by a wide margin,” he said.
He added that as at now, Gor Mahia’s seven points lead in top of the table is not wide enough to hand them the title as second placed Kakamega Homeboyz have played a game less.
“The best option and fair way to determine this season’s league winner is to ensure the remaining ten matches are played. If this is not possible then the league should be cancelled,” he added.
Mathare United are eighth on the log with 33 points and Ali believes they are targeting a top five finish.
Aroka, whose team is placed 16th and battling relegation, said he will oppose disadvantageous criteria being used to edge out Kisumu All Stars from participating in next KPL season.
“You can’t say All Stars will be relegated yet I have 10 games to play, six being at home. I’m sure of winning atleast four home games and survive the relegation axe,” said Aroka.
“We have all spent resources this season and the cancellation of the league will be the best idea rather than using rules unfair to other teams,” he added.
Babu whose team is seventh on the table with 36 points said he was targeting a top three finish but said the best decision if the league is not completed is for the whole season to be declared null and void.
“Even if my team is in the middle of the table, that doesn’t mean I support unpopular decisions. We can cancel the season instead of making other team feel the rules are biased to them,” he said.
KPL CEO Jack Oguda on the other hands told the clubs to go slow on the issues as all available options were being explored saying as at now the league is still suspended indefinitely.