Wanga faults KPL, congratulates Ochieng for Golden Boot win
- After the last whistle of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) round 34 match between Kakamega Homeboyz and Sofapaka, Allan Wanga thought he had won his second Golden Boot in the league.
- He had walked into the match topping the best scorers’ chart with 18, one ahead of Kasumba and Ochieng. Having failed to score as well as Kasumba in the match which was settled at 0-0 stalemate, Wanga knew he had won the coveted gong.
After the last whistle of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) round 34 match between Kakamega Homeboyz and Sofapaka, Allan Wanga thought he had won his second Golden Boot in the league.
In fact, he was quick to congratulate his challengers to the award Umaru Kasumba of Sofapaka and Ulinzi Stars’ Enosh Ochieng, telling Citizen Digital the duo gave him an exciting competition.
He had walked into the match topping the best scorers’ chart with 18, one ahead of Kasumba and Ochieng. Having failed to score as well as Kasumba in the match which was settled at 0-0 stalemate, Wanga knew he had won the coveted gong.
“I’m happy for the Golden Boot, more so reckoning how the goals I have scored this season have helped my team generally. It has been an exciting run and I congratulate the award hopefuls who to the last round were undisputed potentials, Kasumba and Enosh,” then told Wanga, his exhilaration hidden in his ever calm words.
Little did he know KPL Limited had rescheduled the match between Ulinzi aUmaru Kasumband already relegated Mt. Kenya United, for what was explained to be the visiting team arriving in red colors, similar to the host.
Thus, Ochieng remained the sole hunter, and finally took the game home.
This was a season-ender duel, and every team should have started their matches exactly at 2:00pm to avoid match fixing. Of course, the best practice that encompasses this rule was not significant as far as title winner, second place finisher or relegation were concerned; but the Golden Boot question was valid yet.
Reports from Nakuru where the match was set to be played on the material day (Wednesday) indicated Mt. Kenya arrived in the match venue late, which would have automatically meant a walkover for Ulinzi. It was not the case, poking holes on the league running body’s rules on the decision.
A dilemma ensued of who would have been unfairly treated in the Golden Boot race, between Wanga and Ochieng if the match was not played or if it was indeed played.
“I can’t complain about it; everything happens for a reason. We don’t know if he (Ochieng) would have scored even if the match was played,” Ulinzi Stars head coach Benjamin Nyangweso told Citizen Digital before KPL confirmed the ‘replay’.
However, KPL released a press release exactly at 5:18pm the same day, explaining the match was to be played on Sunday, at Afraha Stadium Nakuru.
“Kenyan Premier League regrets the unfortunate events that led to the SPL 2018-19 Round 34 match between Ulinzi Stars FC and Mount Kenya United FC not being played today at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru.
“As every effort was being made to ensure that match is played under prescribed conditions; the match officials called off the match after a misunderstanding, left the match venue, and it was not possible to get them to return and have the match played.
“Since both teams were at the match venue and were ready to play, a decision has been made to reschedule the match to Sunday, June 02, 2019 at the same venue (Afraha Stadium), kick off 3:00 PM,” read the statement.
It was however easy to think that Ochieng could easily get a goal or two against a side that has struggled terribly in the second half of the season, already relegated and without a anything to fight for in KPL.
Fast forward to Friday morning, just two days to the Sunday ‘replay’, Wanga expressed his frustration on the way KPL had handled the matter, foreseeing a possible loss of a Golden Boot he had already celebrated.
“I have not heard of this before anywhere. It is unfair to me because had the match been played in the rightful time as the rest, no one would have known what is happening elsewhere.
“This will be undue advantage as he knows what he (Ochieng) needs to do and surpass my mark even before the match. I however hold no issue about the player, rules are made and we follow, so if he goes on and scores I wish him well,” said Wanga, who was then still trying to come to terms with the uproar that came with his axing from Harambee Stars provisional squad for African Cup of Nations a day earlier.
On Sunday June 2, Ochieng hunger for Golden Boot matched the anger he kindled against Mt. Kenya, hitting a hat-trick in Ulinzi’s 4-0 Mt. Kenya rout to seal his season tally at 20.
Summary of the top scorers
Enosh Ochieng – 20
Allan Wanga – 18
Umaru Kasumba – 17
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