KPA wins appeal over Equity

Thursday, March 24th, 2022 00:00 | By
KPA’s Victor Gor (c) goes for basket under the challenge of Equity Bank due of Kelvin Kigotho (13) and Titus Musembi(15) during a recent KBF Play off match. PD/ David Ndolo

Former Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has won its appeal of a discrepancy in league match against Equity.

The Dockers successfully lodged an appeal over a decision by KBF’s Leagues and Competition Committee (LCC) to order a replay of their abandoned semifinal Game Five playoff with Equity Bank Dumas.

With 59 seconds left and with KPA leading 66-54, Equity abandoned the match and walked out of the court, citing insecurity and subsequently lodged a complaint to LCC.

After deliberations of the protest, LCC through a virtual meeting on February 16 resolved that both teams simultaneously flouted the rules, leading to the abandonment of the game. LCC found KPA guilty of flouting clause 16(b) of the KBF Leagues and Competition Rules, and Equity of flouting Article 20.1.3 of FIBA Official Basketball Rules, and, therefore, ordered for a repeat of the said game at Makande Social Hall, Mombasa in closed doors.

Not satisfied with the decision, KPA sought the intervention of the Independent and Disciplinary Complaint Committee (IDCC).

On Monday, March 21, 2022, after considering arguments of both teams, and evidence presented before it, including the match day referee’s report, the judgment was made.

Own goal

IDCC declared that the match day referee’s report was explicit and that LCC had scored an own goal for appointing a referee and not accepting his/her report.

“It was 59.0 seconds to go in the 4th quarter with the scores reading 54-66 in favor of KPA. The Equity team decided not to play, claiming that their players were unsafe in terms of continuing playing since the fans were intruding on the court to disrupt the game.

However, this kind of incident was managed well from time to time even after managing it once more. The Equity team strongly decided to protest and walked out of the gymnasium,” IDCC said in its report.

It also wondered whether Equity would have walked out alleging in-security.  Since Equity had made prior communication a night before the game in a dispute with KBF, alleging safety, were these allegations made in preparation for a walk out and were just waiting for a trigger should they be losing?

The committee then said, the day’s match referee had managed to contain the situation, implored Equity to return to the court, and see the game to full time, but bankers refused.

“...where there is insecurity even the Referee cannot operate. But we see a Referee ordering a fan out and in his own words “this kind of the incident was managed well from time to time even after managing it once more Equity team strongly decided to protest and walked out of the gymnasium,” IDCC observed.

On analyzing all these scenarios, including Equity’s prayer for a repeat of the game or be awarded the game, IDCC decided otherwise, and said, “accordingly, the game of 14/02/2022 is awarded to KPA, for Equity violations aforesaid. The decision of LCC is hereby vacated,” IDCC ruled.

It’s a huge reprieve to KPA, who had won 86-66 in Game 3, 75-56 in Game 4, and 66-54 in the abandoned Game 5, while Equity had won the opening Game 1, and Game 2. KPA now winning the semifinal 3-2 on aggregate, proceeds to the finals, and will be facing off defending champions Ulinzi Warriors on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Makande Social Hall Mombasa, for Game One, Two, and Three.

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