Nzoia Sugar will have to forfeit their two-month grants from the Kenya Premier League (KPL) following their yesterday’s walkover to AFC Leopards at Bukhungu Stadium. Nzoia failed to show up for the match and hence handed Leopards three points and two goals, a move which will attract half a million fine from the league body.
The millers, who were supposed to be the home team, pitched camp at the neighbouring Mumias Sports Complex, a venue blacklisted from hosting top-flight matches, while Ingwe were at the designated match venue. Nzoia through their chairman Yappets Mokua argued that they invited KPL officials on Monday, who gave Mumias a clean bill of health to host the match and the decision to give Leopards the three points and deny them grants for two months is thus unfair.
Mokua said: “KPL officials were here on Monday and approved the venue for the match but we learnt that the match was moved to Bukhungu. We had already made our plans since they had okayed the venue to host the match. We knew the match will be live and we asked them to move it to Mumias since Bukhungu is not favorable for us due to hooliganism and we never get the gate collections. It’s unfair for us to lose the points and the grants.”
However, KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda said the walkover will see Nzoia forego their grants alongside Mt Kenya United, who dished freebies to Gor Mahia last week. United failed to turn up for their match against the defending champions at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
KPL wires Sh300, 000 monthly grants to clubs. Oguda called upon Football Kenya Federation to ensure that clubs fully comply with the CAF club licensing statues to seal any loopholes for walkovers.
“It is unfortunate that we have had another walkover in the premier league after last week’s one. The Nzoia case was pure miscommunication but nonetheless Leopards will get the three points and two goals. They were aware that Mumias is blacklisted but they insisted to play the match there and as per our policies, a first walkover warrants half a million fine, which shall be deducted from the grants. It doesn’t mean that the Kenyan league or football is on its knees its all about clubs planning for their matches well and on time. I call upon the federation to fully enforce the club licensing for help curb such incidents.”
Meanwhile, suspended Nairobi City Stars coach John Amboko has termed the acquisition of the club by the Jonathan Jackson Foundation will boost their chances of earning automatic promotion to the top flight.The former top flight side has been struggling financially and is currently fighting relegation in the second tier but Amboko is upbeat that they will remain in the league and will be promoted next season.
“Finances has been our major undoing and since that has been solved,it will be easier for us to be promoted next season. We will be able to recruit quality players and retain the best we have.”
The change of ownership have seen the club appoint renowned journalist Patrick Korir as its Chief Executive Officer while Francis Kamau will assume the role of Chief Finance Officer.