By Paul Ombati
Football is the most followed sport Worldwide with over 1 Billion fans and Derbies are known to be some of the exciting fixtures. Different leagues have different Derbies and in Kenya,mashemeji Derby is the most historical pitting rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.
Yesterday's Derby at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani ushered in the 2017-2018 KPL champions after Gor Mahia saw off AFC Leopards 2-0.It was a match characterized by unbecoming conduct which may not have been covered by the mainstream lens but were visible to those of us present at the stadium.
It is primitive, saddening and stupid for a fan to come all the way to the stadium, pay 200/= and destroy facilities at the stadium. The incident where a section of some fans were captured breaking seats at Kasarani yesterday and throwing them in the stadium is one of the most backward, shambolic and useless character to a Football developing Nation in 21st century. Football matches are decided on a three way basis and in instances where a referee decision may not favour your team, it does not whatsoever justify the primitivity of breaking a seat of a National Stadium and throw in the pitch.
Kenya currently boasts of Kasarani as the only standardized International stadium. We are in a country where Football hasn't been given a better priority and instead of managing the best that is there, some are busy destroying. The fact that both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards don't own a stadium should bring sense to you as a football fan that hiring a stadium of Such calibre like Kasarani comes with regulations from the Sport stadium management. A sober minded fan cannot make their team to face sanctions, fines yet the same teams are even facing difficulties in managing players’ allowances, salaries and even honouring fixtures.
I call upon the Sports Stadia Management to hasten their investigations over the same and provide sanctions or fines to culprits and their teams. It is a high time that every fan as a stakeholder must be responsible to ensure the growth of Kenyan football is not driven back by such acts of hooliganism. Somebody should not think of paying 200/= to go and destroy a facility which used Billions of shillings to come up. Such individuals have to be arrested and punished.
The same Kasarani a hooligan disguised as a fan is destroying, is set to host an AFCON qualifier match between Kenya and Ghana in a fortnight. Where do you expect fans to sit for the tie? How will football generate income if facilities like stadiums are destroyed?
It is a wake-up call, fans should sober up. We have many problems facing our local football and we have to unite and solve them rather than keep destroying the best that is there.
By Paul Ombati