alexa Amid this viral chaos just declare Gor league champs - Daily Nation

Amid this viral chaos just declare Gor league champs

Monday March 23 2020

Posta Rangers players

Posta Rangers players warm up in an empty Afraha Stadium, Nakuru, on March 14, 2020 after their Betway match against Gor Mahia was cancelled. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI |NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH MBOYA

As the regular writer of this column Tom Osanjo said in his last week’s column, the coronavirus has really changed the way we do sports, not only in Kenya but worldwide. In all the countries of the world, sports authorities are scratching their heads trying to find solutions.

Already the world popular English Premier League is in abeyance, the famous Monaco Grand Prix is closed for the first time in over a century and so on.

Individually, players are affected, clubs on lockdown mode and the bean counters talking of the virus cost running into billions of dollars.

It was with much interest that many of us who follow local football rushed to check on the news that the local football mandarins were looking for ways of solving the impasse in the Kenyan Premier League with the coronavirus threat looming large.

Two things are at stake here. First is the issue of the matches that were not played as the affected teams stayed away from stadiums in adhering to a directive by the government that people stay away from crowded places to help fight against the disease.

The second issue is the fate of the league which hangs in the balance over the same virus.

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Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia failed to honour their Betway Cup match against Posta Rangers at Afraha stadium while Bandari’s match against Sofapaka programmed to be played at Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa did not materialise.

KCB cancelled their encounter against money bags Wazito at Afraha Stadium, while Keroka Technical also failed to travel to Moi Stadium in Kisumu for their Cup tie against Kisumu All Stars.

Although the Bandari-Sofapaka match failed to take off on a technicality — the small issue of whether the match should have started at 2pm or 4pm being the bone of contention.

However, on their part, our beloved Gor Mahia has written to the football authorities explaining why they did not take to the pitch. I stand with the club’s position.

However, even before FKF could act on the same, the Sports Dispute Tribunal came to town with their landmark ruling against the current FKF office holders.

The same ruling also disbanded the federation’s National Executive Committee. My advice is simple. Let us abide by the government’s order and not punish the clubs that acted responsibly by not playing. Such clubs should be commended and not condemned.

Tied to this has been the debate on what to do with deciding the league winners if the coronavirus threat extends to when the league is supposed to end.

One of the proposals put forward is a knock-out tournament featuring the top teams from which the winner will be crowned the league champions.

My take: this is a waste of time and money. Just declare Gor Mahia the 2020 league champions.

Tom Osanjo’s writing resumes next week

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