AFC Leopards threaten to boycott abandoned FKF Cup semi-final over venue standoff

©AFC Leopards

AFC Leopards threaten to boycott abandoned FKF Cup semi-final over venue standoff

Joel Omotto 21:16 - 26.05.2024

AFC Leopards have threatened not to honour the rest of their FKF Cup semi-final against Kenya Police after it was called off following an incident of hooliganism.

AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda has criticised Football Kenya Federation for hosting the FKF Cup semi-final pitting his team against Kenya Police at the Police Sacco grounds on Sunday.

The match was abandoned in the 60th minute after assistant referee Simon Kuria was hit by an object from the fans and the federation decided that the final 30 minutes will be played on Monday.

However, Shikanda is not happy that FKF did not listen to his club’s pleas to have the match played at a ‘more secure’ venue and has threatened to boycott it if it is hosted at the Police Sacco grounds.

“We had proposed that if we cannot play at Ulinzi Complex, we go to Mambo Leo in Kisumu where there will be adequate security and organisation and there is capacity to host all fans,” Shikanda told the press after the match.

“They refused that other teams do not have money. It is not a must we tie these matches together. Police and us would have gone to Kisumu to play one semi and another semi played here but we were disappointed for them to tell us we must play here.

“This ground has not been approved, yes we have played here, against Zetech, but that was a college team [and] you don’t expect it to attract fans but moving forward, we were telling them no one has approved this pitch and today we are waiting what they will say.”

Despite his team trailing 1-0 by the time of the abandonment, after Tito Okello put Police ahead, Shikanda feels his team were the most affected by the decision to stop the match.

“We were on top since the second half started, the first 10 minutes of the second half we were looking for an equaliser,” he added.

“The federation has sent some people to tell us the match will be replayed tomorrow [Monday] for 30 minutes, we are not going to accept that.

“We are a laughing stock around the world to play such a match at this ground. The federation should pull up its socks and ensure this match is replayed in a proper stadium with a proper organisation.”

While Leopards fans have been singled out for being responsible for throwing the object that hit the match official, Shikanda defended Ingwe supporters against the accusations.

“It is not our fans who threw that object. This stadium did not have only AFC fans. We cannot ascertain who threw that object, you cannot say it was our fans because we were the team which was going to score,” he added.

“Our fans are very peaceful. We are remaining with three matches in the league and there have not been such an incident and this is why we wrote to the federation and told them the field we are going to use is not good and security organisation is poor and the fans can do anything.”

The venue had hosted the other semi-final between Kariobangi Sharks and KCB, which saw the bankers sail through to the final after winning on post-match penalties, and they will be waiting to know who they will meet in the decisive match between Leopards and Police.

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