The great ‘Kenyan derby’ has been once again tainted by ugly scenes at last Sunday’s match on 18th March. All seemed well with the big crowd, there was excitement, singing and dancing before and during the first half of the game. However, during the second half at the 67th minute of the match referee David Omweno issued a red card to Victor Ali for a dangerous tackle on Ingwe’s Muchiri. All hell broke loose as a section of angered Gor fans protested the decision and threw projectiles onto the field causing the match to stall. About 25 minutes after the match was stopped the referee decided to continue with play after the Gor Mahia players convinced their fans to calm down. The game never really picked up again to the level of the first half and ended in a barren draw. This was enough to send Gor fans into jubilation just for the fact that they were not beaten by their bitter rivals who are having a better season start, and the fact that Gor were down by one man.
Nevertheless, worse came to worst after the match as the rowdy Gor fans engaged their rivals outside the stadium, throwing missiles at each other and causing damages. The trouble extended to the Nairobi City Centre affecting business activities.
We never learn
Just like most Kenyans, we were anxiously waiting for the big match to see who among the most popular clubs in the country would carry the day. But we were also keen to observe the “other scores” apart from the the numbers of goals. For instance we wanted to know the “security score”, the “fans score” and the “organization score”. Even if the final score in the match was a barren draw (which was both disappointing and comfortable in equal measure for the two teams), the security scored extremely poorly. The security arrangements failed again to deal with crowd trouble and missile throwing which could have been avoided had those responsible done a better job.
The security score was poor as the match was allowed to continue even after 15 minutes of delay which according to FIFA regulations should have meant the end of the match to avoid risking further trouble.
The security score was poor as there was no clear barrier separating the two sides in contrast to media reports prior to kick off which stated that gate 6 was to be a no man’s land (this was to quell the tension between the two sided which has always been present when they are too close to each other).
While the AFC fans kept their cool generally, Gor Mahia fans scored poorly because of the manner in which they reacted to the referee’s decision to send off Victor Ali. Just when we thought crowd trouble was now a thing of the past, some fans turned to violence as a way of expressing their displeasure. Extending the violence to the streets just made it worse. Crowd trouble and match delay resulted as a poor score in organisation.
Though disappointed by what happened on that day, the Forum welcomes the actions taken by FKF who suspended KPL’s technical committee chairman G. M. T. Otieno indefinitely from all football activities. They also put to task Frank Okoth, who is in charge of logistics at the KPL, by giving him seven days to show cause why action should not be taken against him for alleged “gross insubordination.” We believe such actions could help prevent incidences like the one witnessed on Sunday.
Pray for Fabrice Muamba
The world witnessed in shock as Congo born England international Fabrice Muamba who plays for Bolton Wanderers collapsed due to cardiac arrest during a match between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane. The game had to be stopped as players from both teams and fans alike were too shocked to continue with the match. The football world was united in praying for Muamba’s recovery as messages of hope flocked the internet and the entire media while fans placed flowers outside Reebok Stadium and also outside the hospital where Muamba was admitted. 42 hours later good reports swept the media as it was announced that Muamba’s condition was improving as he started talking and was able to recognize his family and friends. He even asked about the results of the game only to be told that the game was put off for of him. We too pray for his full recovery.
Fabrice Muamba Latest:
The Bolton midfielder, 23, made his plea in a statement released by fiancée Shauna Magunda and dad Marcel.
It said: “Even though Fabrice has made great progress over the last couple of days, he’s still in intensive care and has a long recovery ahead.
“He has asked that you please keep him in your prayers.”
Muamba had a cardiac arrest in a game against Spurs last Saturday.
He wasn’t breathing for 78 minutes and doctors zapped his heart FIFTEEN times before it started beating on its own