Football

AFC Leopards’ Shikanda: FKF were wrong to declare Gor Mahia KPL champions

The Ingwe boss maintains K’Ogalo did not deserve to be crowned winners of the 2019-20 league campaign after it was cancelled

AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda has revisited the decision to crown their rivals Gor Mahia as the 2019-20 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions by stating “it was a hurting decision which was not supposed to stand.”

The former Harambee Stars striker has insisted since Kenya did not have a winner in the domestic Cup, the same rule should have been applied in the top-flight.

Gor Mahia clinched their 18th league title after the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) prematurely ended the 2019-20 campaign after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

K’Ogalo were declared champions by virtue of topping the 18-team table and were thus handed the ticket to represent the country in the Caf Champions League.

According to Shikanda, who once played for and won league titles with both AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia, the move by the federation was unprocedural and did not deserve to stand since the league was still far from being completed, and second-placed Kakamega Homeboyz could have also beaten Gor Mahia to the title.

“We cannot give out the league trophy just like that,” Shikanda told Goal while revisiting the issue. “The league should have been declared null and void and teams asked to prepare for the new campaign.

“I really tried my best to fight with FKF over the matter because I felt the decision they had taken was not right, but no one else came in to support me, even Homeboyz, who were second on the table, kept mum.

“I don’t have any issue with Gor Mahia but the way they got the title was not fair, it was something FKF should not have done, they should have cancelled the league and declared it null and void.

“It was a hurting decision because all the teams in the top seven could have won the title, and one wonders how they arrived at awarding Gor Mahia the title, it can never happen anywhere in the world, it was a decision I will continue to challenge in my entire life.”

Shikanda has also set his sights on guiding AFC Leopards to win the FKF Premier League as well as a Caf title before retiring.

The Kenyan giants have never qualified for any Caf competition’s group stage and the last time they won the league title was way back in 1998.

Shikanda was elected as the Ingwe chairman in June 2019 and in his first season, the club went on to finish sixth on the table despite the financial challenges faced, and he now feels they are good enough to battle for the title.

“I want to retire after I win the Caf title with AFC Leopards and do not want to win the league to go lose 6-0,” Shikanda said in reference to the recent outcome of the Caf Champions League game between their bitter rivals Gor Mahia and Algerian outfit CR Belouizdad.

“We have a strong squad and I know we will soon conquer Africa.

“I do not want to laugh at Gor Mahia but we do not want to go out there and lose 6-0. I know I will win the league title soon and also conquer Africa but I do not want to go and lose by a [humiliating margin].”

The 13-time league champions have started the season well and have managed to collect nine points from their opening four games with the only defeat coming against bogey side Western Stima.

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