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Why verdict on Sony, Gor tie was delayed

The Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee disregarded a security report on the disputed Gor Mahia versus Sony Sugar match by controversial Kenyan Premier League Security Chairman GMT Ottieno citing conflict of interest.

Gor Mahia were awarded three points and are the 2013 league champions with three matches go after an 18-year-wait.

IDCC Chairman Richard Omwela said the appeals team arrived at the decision because Ottieno is a KPL official and therefore his report can’t be used in a case against his employers as it could be biased.

The rejected report was damning to Sony. Ottieno had contradicted himself severally in what Omwela described as “an attempt to shift blame to Gor Mahia” for causing the abandonment of the match in Awendo.

The IDCC Appeals Committee decided to stick to the referees’ and match commissioners’ reports and footage provided by sports broadcaster SuperSport.

Neutral venue

Gor Mahia appealed KPL’s decision to have the game replayed at a neutral venue, arguing that Sony Sugar players were responsible for the abandonment of the match.

Last week, KPL lawyer Antony Odhiambo tried to revert the case back to their office claiming the appeals team had no jurisdiction to hear it.

But KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda had already signed an agreement to have the committee hear the case, forcing the matter to proceed to trial.

Gor Mahia were confident the case would go their way, and expect further sanctions on Sony Head Coach Zico Otieno and goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya for their part in the fracas that ensured.

The custodian was captured on camera elbowing first Assistant Referee Leonard Onyiego, and Sony coach ‘Zico’ Otieno also shoved him. Kasaya appears to have troubled times ahead, as he will miss the remainder of the season after he was injured in an attack by Gor Mahia fans during their GOtv Shield semifinal last weekend.

Sanctions

He also risks facing sanctions as the match commissioner and referee confirmed seeing the ex- Gor goalkeeper elbowing Onyiego.

According to a Gor official, who declined to be named, the KPL board was fighting to have Gor miss out on the points to narrow their chances of winning the league.

“The chairman of the winning team automatically heads KPL. The current board does not want our chairman Ambrose Rachierto take over the reins,” said the source.

Investigations revealed inadequate security and questionable admittance of fans to the venue.

There were only 65 guards present on the fateful day, assisted by 30 private security personnel from Gillys Security Company.

The teams agreed to play as Awendo does not have a full-fledged police station, and could not manage to raise the required number of officers.

The stadium has capacity of 2,000 fans, but there were close to 7,000 who attended that match, questioning how they were allowed to access the stadium.

An FKF/KPL Joint Liaison Committee had a few weeks ago awarded all three points to Gor Mahia, but KPL later rescinded the move forcing the formation of the appeals committee.

Fifa rules stipulate that a match is considered abandoned if a team declines to resume play after stoppage.