AFC Leopards were yesterday slapped with a fine of 500,000 following acts of hooliganism by their fans in the semifinals of the GOTV Shield Cup, at the Nairobi City Stadium against KPL title contenders Sofapaka.
Ingwe fans turned violent attacking the match officials, Sofapaka players and fans as it became apparent that their club would not mount a successful defense of the Shield Cup they won last season. Leopards went down 0-2 to Batoto Ba Mungu in the clash following Tony Ndolo’s goal for Sofapaka resulting to violence by the disappointed Ingwe fans.
The first incident of hooliganism came four minutes before Sofapaka’s opener as Austin Ikenna was rightly flagged offside. Fans from the Russia end hurled stones and bottles on the pitch occasioning a stoppage for about three times before calm was restored.
On the 85thminute,Sofapaka won a free kick at the edge of the Ingwe box after James Situma was adjudged to have stuck foot to Agwanda’s face and from the resulting delivery, Antony Kimani’s kick deflected off the Ingwe wall and Ndolo was well positioned to turn it in past a helpless Ingwe’s stopper. That is when trouble started with Ndolo being pelted by Ingwe fans before all hell broke loose.
In a statement from the federation, AFC Leopards were directed to play their remaining 2014 season matches in an empty stadium and compensate the home team for loss of revenue in case they are playing away from home.
The club will also foot medical expenses incurred by people injured as a result of the chaos that were caused by their unruly fans in the Shield Cup clash.
The club has also been directed to identify their security personnel who attacked match officials causing the halt of the game on the 87th minute and will also forfeit the chances to face off with West Kenya Sugar in the Shield Cup 3rd place playoff as well as any benefits that could have accrued from the same.Arising from the abandonment, the federation has therefore awarded the match to Sofapaka FC who will face Rangers FC in the finals of the Shield Cup.
The federation, however, did not state whether AFC Leopards had room to appeal the sanctions but called on all clubs in the country to help them curb hooliganism in the games.
Ingwe had turned their misfortunes in the league to fortunes in the Shield Cup after having good runs against the country’s other fierce clubs. The revelation by the federation has therefore added to the woes the Leopards have had in the league so far.
The Monday abandoned match just added to a previous one that pitted Tusker FC and Muhoroni Youth in an astonishing mix up that saw the brewersfield12men against Muhoroni Youth.
Tusker were leading 2-1 and the match was approaching the 75th minute when the watchful Abbas Akinyemi realized that the brewers had fielded an extra man on the night of Sunday 19th. The midfielder had flung his hands to draw the attention of the center referee who upon doing a headcount noticed that in deed the brewers had an extra man on the pitch.
After a disciplinary action by the match master, Tusker returned to the pitch in readiness for the resumption of the game, but Muhoroni players refused to get on with the play, leaving the referee with no choice but to end the match.