Sharks fail to honour Leopards match, Mathare United relegated

Mathare United players celebrate

From left: Mathare United players Daniel Otieno, Danson Kago and Eugene Wethuli celebrate a goal during their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match against FC Talanta at Ruaraka grounds in Nairobi on January 5, 2022.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • FC Talanta were scheduled to host Gor Mahia at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega while AFC Leopards clash with Sharks was to be staged at Nyayo National Stadium.
  • This came a few hours after the Football Kenya Federation Transition Committee cracked the whip by officially relegating Mathare United from the top flight league.

AFC Leopards and FC Talanta on Saturday demanded they be awarded all three points after their Football Kenya Federation Premier League matches against Kariobangi Sharks and Gor Mahia failed to take place.

FC Talanta were scheduled to host Gor Mahia at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega while AFC Leopards clash with Sharks was to be staged at Nyayo National Stadium.

This came a few hours after the Football Kenya Federation Transition Committee cracked the whip by officially relegating Mathare United from the top flight league.

At Bukhungu Stadium, FC Talanta Chief Executive Officer Douglas Ratemo said they didn’t receive any letter only to be informed by the referee that their game against Gor Mahia had been postponed.

“The referee came and informed us the game had been postponed but we have to seek reimbursement of Sh500,000 we used to travel to Kakamega and other related costs. The three points and two goals should also be awarded to us because we honoured the match,” Ratemo told Nation Sport.

“Gor wrote to the ministry directly and not the transition or caretaker committee. The void they are claiming was at the leadership was not there and they should have done the letter earlier. As FC Talanta, we didn’t receive any letter or communication and therefore postponing the game came as a surprise to us,” added Ratemo, saying they have not yet decided whether they will honour the postponed match.  

He clarified that as a host team they booked the venue which is 381km away from Nairobi three weeks ago since none of the match venues in Thika and Nairobi was available.

As part of the evidence, the team took a photo at Bukhungu Stadium before returning to Nairobi.

In a letter to Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier dated May 13, the transition committee's secretariat chief Linda Oguttu said the game had been postponed to a later date.

At Nyayo National Stadium, AFC Leopards match was called off at 3.30pm by the match officials after Sharks made tru their threat not to turn up for the tie.

Chairman Dan Shikanda, who was present at Nyayo, said they have to be awarded three points and two goals because they honoured the game.

He also said they had paid for the pitch and incurred other costs and urged the committee to fine Sharks.

"We also urge the committee to fine Sharks so that they can take care of the costs we incurred. Remember Mwendwa (former FKF boss Nick Mwendwa) fined us Sh6 million for missing the Mashemeji Derby last season,” said Shikanda.

The Rules and Regulation which govern Kenyan football state that a team shall be awarded three points and two goals if their opponents fail to honour the game.

“In the event that a team or both teams in a scheduled fixture fails to turn up or turn(s) up for the match but refuse(s) to play, either team or both shall be docked three (3) points and two (2) goals from those already accumulated or those to be accumulated. Additional sanctions may be imposed on the team(s),” states Rule 3.1.6. 

“Lack of finances shall not be considered an acceptable reason by the FKF,” states rule 3.1.8.

On relegation of Mathare United, Oguttu said they had contravened the law and will now play in the National Super League next season.

The Slum Boys have not honoured their last three fixtures against Bandari, Ulinzi Stars and Sofapaka.

She quoted article 3.1. 12 of the Rules and Regulations which govern Kenyan football: "Any club in a league format that doesn’t turn up for three fixtures in a season and their explanation under Rule 3.1.7 is not accepted in all the three incidences to the FKF National Leagues and Competition Committee, shall be suspended for the rest of the season, shall be relegated to a lower league for the next season and may face other disciplinary action,” quoted the letter.

“We therefore hereby write to you decreeing that having failed to play three matches in contravention of the above stated rule, as of the date of this letter, Mathare United FC has been suspended from FKF PL 2021-22 season and shall be relegated to the National Super League for the next season,” it added.

However, Mathare United CEO Jackton Obure said the transition committee had no powers to relegate the club.

“We have rules and regulations on football and I don’t know where the committee gets such powers. We wrote the letter why we missed the games but we shall communicate a way forward after meeting as the club management,” Obure told Nation Sport.

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