Nick Mwendwa, the brainchild behind the recently concluded Nairobi Champions Cup, has refuted claims that he has refused to award Gor Mahia Youth their first runners up prize money worth Kshs 250,000 they were entitled to in their controversial match against Terror Squad.
Mwendwa sponsored the tournament that ended Sunday (Sept. 27) at Camp Toyoyo where Terror Squad were controversially declared winners after a bitterly contested penalty shoot-out against Gor Mahia Youth.
The controversy arose after Terror Squad goalkeeper Kevin Oduor saved Kogalo Youth’s 8th spot-kick but was flagged off by linesman for leaving his area before the penalty was taken. Terror Squad fans however ran into the field celebrating thinking it was the last kick, causing even more confusion. Calm was later restored but referee refused a retake leading to more chaos and later match abandonment.
Reports have been rife that Terror Squad were awarded the Kshs. 1 million cash reward but that the sponsor will withhold Gor Mahia Youth’s runners-up prize for allegedly causing the confusion.
However, Four4TwoMedia can confirm that both teams will be awarded their on Thursday (Sept. 8).
No cause for panic
Mwendwa who is contesting for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Presidency says there is no cause of panic and all those accusing him of failing to honour his pledge are mistaken and have vested interests.
“The issue is Gor Mahia Youth caused the abandonment of the match and by the football law, they lost the match,” he said.
“When an incident like that happens in football, the federations sit down and decide on the next cause of action.
“As far as them losing the game, that was determined on that day by the abandonment. Where there is any other complaint, a football leagues and competitions committee must meet and decide on whether there is further punishment for the Gor Mahia Youth team.
“That committee then will write and communicate on the right cause of action,” said Mwendwa.
There was war on social media as rumours broke out that Mwendwa was planning to withhold the runners-up award but this, according to the FKF Presidential hopeful, was not supposed to be.
“The issue is, what we need to teach our young boys and girls is that what we are doing is bigger than just giving out money.”
“We are investing much more in football . We want to develop football in all scopes. We will award them either Thursday or Friday.”
Coaches back Mwendwa
Meanwhile, Mwendwa’s presidential bid got a shot in the arm, Monday, after he received backing from 53 local coaches including 12 from the Kenyan Premier League led by Ulinzi Stars’ Robert Matano and Bandari FC’s Twahir Muhiddin.
Matano who chairs the Elite Coaches Association body reckoned that football in the country needs change and ‘Nick Mwendwa is the one to bring the change required,’ while his Bandari counterpart Muhiddin went further to declare that the Kariobangi Sharks Chairman ‘understands the game and what is currently ailing it.’
Mwendwa, Sam Shollei and Gor Semelang’o will be gunning to unseat the incumbent Sam Nywamweya in the November 13 national elections which will be preceded by Sub Branch election on October 29and Branch elections in November 5.
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