SportPesa reinstates Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards sponsorship

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards fans

Betting firm Sportpesa has reinstated its sponsorship for football giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards two weeks after its suspension over hooliganism.

The firm has also stated that it would commercialise stewardship to improve security during matches and curb cases of hooliganism.

The two clubs were slapped with the suspension on April 26, 2016 over hooliganism with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) announcing they would no longer be in charge of security arrangement for matches between the two clubs.

Speaking during the announcement a fortnight ago, FKF President Nick Mwendwa had warned fans, players and club officials who will be guilty of assaulting or attempting to attack a match official saying anyone found culpable would be liable to suspension for a year with the team involved being docked six points.

He announced that an independent committee has been formed to handle all security matters in Gor Mahia and Leopards matches and the local titans will no longer appoint stewards to maintain order in their games.

Federation CEO, Robert Muthomi, KPL chief, Jack Oguda and officials from the major league sponsors, SportsPesa and SuperSport will sit in the committee alongside club officials.

“Players and team officials whose actions are deemed to cause or aggravate crowd trouble or incite fans or engage in actions that could lead to crowd trouble, match disruption or abandonment will be banned for four matches and incur a fine of Ksh20,000 for the first offense,” the president declared.

“Any player or team official who attacks or attempts to attack a match official will be suspended for 365 days. The team that the player plays for will be liable for any and all damages caused to the officials,” he added.

“The club whose players or fans are liable for causing the abandonment of a match will lose the match on a 2-0, three points basis, be deducted six points and play it’s next home match in empty stadium.

“In the event that the team repeats the offense, it will be deducted six points and play its three matches in empty stadia. If the team commits the offense for the third time it will be relegated to a lower league and be fined Ksh500,000,” Mwendwa stated.

Gor and Leopards were also formally charged by the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) over acts of violence that marred their games against Tusker FC (April 16) in Nairobi and Ulinzi Stars FC last Saturday in Mumias where match referees were assaulted.

Both sets of supporters were enraged when penalty decisions went against them with K’Ogalo eventually losing 1-0 when the game resumed after a hold-up that lasted over 15-minutes while Ingwe’s clash being abandoned at 1-1 following the clashes that broke out at Mumias Complex in the 81st.

KPL has since awarded the match to the soldiers on a 2-0 score with the teams expected to answer their cases before KPL’s Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC).

The two clubs, in a press briefing on Tuesday, said that they have put in place measures to curb hooliganism calling on their fans to restrain from acts of violence during matches.

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