What will be done of the Football Hooliganism in Kenya?

Hooligans causing a stir at a Kenyan football game in 2012
Smoke bellows as hooliganism continues to haunt Kenyan football

Pepsi or Coke ? Messi or Ronaldo ? FIFA or PES ? Barcelona or Madrid ? Adidas or Nike ? Gor or AFC ?  Life will always be about choices. And from the vantage point of the decision you make, yours will always look better, more logical and more beneficial than the next person’s.

Financial growth or Moral victories ? This question seems to have split the opinion of the Kenyan football fan right down the middle. With Gor Mahia charging at the title and leaving bruised teams in their wake, the question has never been as relevant.

Gor Mahia has finally secured the title. The taste of victory that was for a long time palpable, is now sweet in their mouths. Victory had proven elusive until now, snatched away from their impending jaws at the last minute on two previous occasions. In 2010 to Ulinzi and last season to Tusker. You cannot blame the K’ogalo fan for preparing for the fanfare and feasting that accompanies victory, especially when victory has been 18 years too late. What you can blame some of his counterparts for is the state that Andrew Waiswa is in.

In a match that fan hooliganism reared its ugly — but familiar — head, Sony Sugar lost to Gor Mahia in a GOTV Shield cup game. A game which showcased various inefficiencies. There was not enough security to protect the besieged Sony players and Gor players had to physically repeal their own fans who were baying for Sony ‘keeper, Wycliffe Kasayas blood. Caught up in the fracas, Waiswa has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.

And this is not the first time a section of Gor fans are the cause of mayhem and destruction.

While it is only a few, rogue fans that are soiling Gor Mahia’s reputation as a club that embraces good sportsmanship, they have managed to irritate most of those interested in Kenyan football. Which begs the question, what is more important — the millions that the Green Army, (Gor’s famed fans), bring in gate collections; or sanity in our stadia?

A question that nobody seems prepared to answer, the buck being passed around like a ball at the Camp Nou. The clubs blame rogue fans, the league blames the police, the police blame the clubs; one huge blame game that will soon swallow more than a players career or a million shilling fine.

And while Gor have already wrapped up the league, serious questions need to be asked. What is the commitment of the 2013 KPL Champions and the league in general toward fan safety and all-round discipline?

Gor have been singing “giniwasekao”, (a Luo phrase roughly translated to “we have taken this thing”) but questions abound as to who will take control and discipline Kenya’s football hooligans. That is the tune that now needs to be picked.

[image courtesy of michezoafrika]


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