The Kenyan Premier League's (KPL) Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC) ruling to award the June 2, 2019 match pitting Ulinzi Stars against Mt Kenya United as a walkover has had ramifications on the final 2018/19 top-flight league standings and the Golden Boot.
The game had been replayed after financially crippled Mt Kenya United failed to arrive at the match venue, Afraha Stadium, in time on May 29. Mt Kenya United players had earlier in the day refused to travel to Nakuru as they demanded their dues. They eventually hit the road but arrived a few minutes to kick-off.
Mt Kenya United's also had kits that clashed in colour with the home team but by the time they borrowed another kit, the referees had already had enough of the drama and left. KPL eventually ordered the match to be played on June 2. In the replay, Ulinzi Stars won 4-0 with Enosh Ochieng grabbing a hat-trick thus emerging the season’s top scorer with 20 goals.
Kakamega Homeboyz lodged an official complaint to IDCC arguing there was no need for the game to be replayed and the ruling delivered on Thursday was in their favour as Ulinzi were awarded a walkover (three points and two goals).
NULL AND VOID
“We are convinced that the delay and rescheduling of the match between Ulinzi Stars FC versus Mount Kenya United FC was not procedural and valid. There were too many extrinsic considerations and concerns by both the respondent and the officials that detracted from the laws governing delay and consequences thereof. Every match must be determined on its own circumstances but based on the law as is and not how we would wish it to be. In this case, the tribunal finds merit in the case and does hold that the rescheduling of the match between Ulinzi Stars FC versus Mount Kenya United FC was illegal, null and void. The result and scores therein are thus annulled …” read part of the ruling.
Ulinzi Stars had also raised a complaint over Allan Wanga’s controversial goal against AFC Leopards on April 10 at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos. IDCC ruled that it was an own goal by AFC Leopards goalkeeper Jairus Adira.
This means, Sofapaka’s Umaru Kasumba, Ulinzi’s Enosh Ochieng and Kakamega Homeboyz’s Allan Wanga are now the 2018/19 KPL joint top scorers with 17 goals each.
Kakamega Homeboyz Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bernard Shitiabayi welcomed the ruling. “We are very happy with it. Our player Allan Wanga had put a very spirited fight for the Golden Boot and there were a lot of games going on behind the scenes to ensure he doesn’t get it. The Ulinzi Stars versus Mt Kenya match wasn’t supposed to be replayed and the ruling has set precedence. Such injustice will not happen in Kenyan football again,” he said.
Enosh Ochieng was on Monday feted as the KPL Golden Boot winner during the LG/Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) awards gala. He was awarded Sh250,000 as well as a 49-inch television set.
Subsequently, Ulinzi Stars have moved to tenth on the log with Kariobangi Sharks and KCB FC moving to eighth and ninth respectively.