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‘Mashemeji derby’ venue and date confirmed

Friday February 28 2020
By JOHN ASHIHUNDU

The eagerly-awaited “Mashemeji derby” between AFC Leopards and their arch-rivals Gor Mahia will be played at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani next Sunday.

The encounter pitting the two Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants who have 31 titles between them, had been surrounded by uncertainty due to lack of a venue.

But confirming the development on Friday, AFC Leopards treasurer Maurice Chichi said Ingwe have reached an agreement with Sports Kenya to use the facility for the second leg match scheduled for March 8.

AFC Leopards had been banned from using both the 60,000-seater venue and the 30,000-seater Nyayo National Stadium since the club is yet to meet the cost of repair for damage caused at Kasarani by the club’s fans during the first leg of the derby on November 10, which K’Ogalo won 4-1.

“We have been in talks with the (Sports) ministry and we have reached an agreement on how to pay the Sh2 million fine imposed on us following acts of hooliganism.

“We have also given the ministry an assurance on how we will deal with hooliganism and the management of our matches in general,” he told Nation Sport.

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READY TO PAY

“We are yet to pay for the chairs that were destroyed during the match, but we urge our fans to show good behaviour for our beloved club to be allowed to use Kasarani Stadium and Nyayo National Stadium.

“Our fans need to be responsible since our agreement with the ministry is very delicate; even just breaking a tree outside the stadium will land us in trouble,” he said.

AFC Leopards have been playing their home matches at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County, at Bukhungu Stadium and Mumias Sports Complex both in Kakamega, but that has had the undesirable effect of increased expenditure by the club.

Early this month, AFC Leopards had sought to use their traditional home ground of Nyayo Stadium in vain. The 30,000-seater stadium has proven an ideal venue for the club to host its home matches with higher revenue from gate collection.

Sports Kenya chairman, Fred Muteti has barred Leopards from using the refurbished facility as the club works towards offsetting the Sh2 million bill, insisting that the club must repair the damages that fans caused at Kasarani.

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