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Ingwe, K’Ogalo on spot as hooliganism retains permanent feature on big two clubs

AFC Leopards face sanctions from Kenyan Premier League (KPL) over the hooliganism that rocked their match against Ulinzi Stars in Machakos last weekend.

KPL Stadia Safety and Security Committee secretary GMT Ottieno said they have perused the reports of the match referee and commissioner which found Leopards fans culpable of attacking match officials.

According to Ottieno, the report by the commissioner John Ngururi correlated with that of the referee with both indicating that the match was halted in the 86th minute after the fans pelted the officials with stones in protest of an off-side ruling against a player from their team. “The decision did not go down well with the fans who pelted the second assistant referee with stones as the centre referee took cover.

“The match was stopped for six minutes with players seeking refuge at the centre of the pitch,” Ottieno said of the reports.

Ottieno was categorical that Leopards will be charged accordingly due to the actions of their fans even as he condemned the rising insecurity in matches involving the team.

“KPL is concerned that Leopards has too many cases emanating from wayward behaviour of their fans. Such despicable acts will not only scare prospective sponsor but will also tarnish the image of KPL,” said Ottieno.

He said it is sad that fans are increasingly resorting to taking the law into their own hands which put their teams at the risk of severe sanctions by the authorities.

“There are proper channels in which to air grievances and I’m surprised that such protocol has been thrown out of the window.  The punitive action that will be meted on Leopards will serve as a deterrent to fans with similar tendencies,” he said.

During the match, suspected AFC Leopards yobs went on a stone-throwing orgy over alleged bias, which also left Machakos Officer Commanding Station (OCS) Gelfas Okoth nursing a head injury. Machakos Police confirmed that at least three trouble-shooters were arrested and will be arraigned in court.

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