Mashemeji Derby: Gor Mahia vs AFC Leopards to be played behind closed doors

The local federation has come out to clarify that fans will not be allowed to attend the first derby of the 2020-21 season

Football Kenya Federation has ruled out any possibility of allowing fans to watch the Premier League derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards on Sunday.

The eagerly awaited derby will be played at Kasarani Stadium on Sunday after it was postponed from the initial date of January 3, owing to K’Ogalo’s involvement in the Caf Champions League.

The federation has now confirmed to Goal no fans will be allowed to watch the game owing to the strict measures put in place by the Ministry of Health to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“No, we will not allow fans to attend the derby,” FKF CEO Barry Otieno told Goal on Monday. “We must follow the Covid-19 rules set by the government and it is very clear no fans should attend league matches.”

With rumours spreading on Monday that the government was working on ways to have fans attend the match, Otieno said: “Those are just rumours, treat them as such, there is nothing like that, no one has talked to us, so the game will be played behind closed doors.”

Both teams enjoying a good run of results in the 18-team league table, with AFC Leopards now unbeaten from three matches since they suffered back-to-back defeats against Western Stima and Wazito FC

After losing the two matches – 2-0 and 1-0 – Ingwe have gone ahead to register three straight wins – 2-1 against KCB, 2-0 against Kariobangi Sharks, and 2-1 against Posta Rangers.

On the other hand, K’Ogalo, who are the defending champions, have also recovered from the shock 1-0 defeat against Vihiga United to win two straight matches – 3-0 against Zoo FC and 3-1 against Banda

Last season, Gor Mahia won both encounters, beating Ingwe 4-1 in the first round match before edging them out by a solitary goal en-route to winning their fourth straight league title.

In the 2019-20 season, the Kenyan champions completed a double over Ingwe winning the first match of the season 2-0 before handing them a 3-1 defeat in the reverse fixture on their way to clinching a record 18th league title.

AFC Leopards are yet to beat Gor Mahia in their last seven matches with the best result against their rivals coming in the 1-1 draw of the 2017-18 season with Gor Mahia winning the second round fixture 1-0.

The two teams will meet with AFC Leopards ahead of Gor Mahia on the table, as they are currently in position four with 18 points from eight matches while Gor Mahia are sixth after collecting 15 points from eight outings.

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