Enosh Ochieng’s goals were scored fairly against Mount Kenya United
The postponement of the match led to many questions raised especially on the impact it would have on the Golden Boot race
Kenya Premier League side Ulinzi Stars have defended their 4-0 win over Mount Kenya United on Sunday.
The match that was rescheduled from May 29 to June 2 generated intense public debate due to the stakes it carried.
All KPL season-ending matches were to be played on May 29 but the officials postponed this one match to yesterday after it failed to kick-off at the scheduled time. As a result, Enosh Ochieng scored a hat-trick to beat Allan Wanga to the Golden Boot award.
Wanga had been leading the race up to the last match with 18 goals but Ochieng’s three goals ensured he finished the season with 20.
“Firstly, Ulinzi Stars honoured the game on Wednesday (May 29) as directed by KPL and upheld all their rights as the home team. The opponents arrived, albeit a bit late but had clashing uniforms with the home team. That there was the genesis of all these issues being debated now. They managed to get blue jerseys from a lower tier team in Nakuru but by the time this happened, the referees, who had all along been waiting, called off the game,” Ulinzi Stars said in a statement on their Facebook.
The Soldiers cited the KPL communique on the reasons for the postponement of the match to show that they did not influence the decision to reschedule the match.
“Let’s make it very clear that up to that point, Ulinzi Stars had absolutely no hand in the planning and re-planning of this match. The club only followed instructions and directions from the KPL.” the statement continued to read in part.
“Now, on to the game, Ulinzi Stars scored four goals and Enosh Ochieng got three, which made him top scorer after an outstanding season. The four goals scored were fair and clean and (Enosh) Ochieng, going to the final game of the season knowing he needed at least two goals to finish as the top scorer was enough motivation.
The goals for Ulinzi Stars ensured they moved up the log to eighth position sitting above Kariobangi Sharks and KCB courtesy of a superior goal difference.
“Mount Kenya have had issues this season and we all know that these challenges could have affected them on the field of play. They conceded 85 goals and trying to insinuate, even with the slightest indication that their match against Ulinzi Stars would be fixed is the height of insensitivity and disrespect to the team that Ulinzi Stars is.” the club added.
“Mount Kenya had lost seven straight matches going to this game and had already been relegated, for Ulinzi Stars, there was everything to play for and let’s recognize this when it comes to sports psychology.”