• Vandalism descended on the Moi Stadium, Kasarani sports facility, leaving a trail of broken seats and shattered window panes in the wake of the ugly scenes that marred the much-hyped top-of-the-table encounter.
• Meanwhile, the General Service Unit (GSU) officers who had been deployed to the stadium lobbed teargas canisters on the charging mob of unruly fans who relentlessly bayed for the match officials’ blood.
The Kenyan football terrain has been left with another egg on the face following the ugly scenes that marred the Kenyan Premier League thriller between record champions Gor Mahia and league newbies Murang’a Seal on Saturday.
Vandalism descended on the Moi Stadium, Kasarani sports facility, leaving a trail of broken seats and shattered window panes in the wake of the ugly scenes that marred the much-hyped top-of-the-table encounter.
K’Ogalo supporters were reportedly enraged by a contentious call by centre referee Kevin Amol, who ruled out Benson Omalla’s first-half goal for offside in a match that ended in a barren draw.
A section of irked fans strategically positioned themselves at the player entry tunnel where they hurled projectiles at the match officials, who frantically sought an escape route in futility.
The incident came hot on the heels of yet another disturbing scene where disgruntled Gor Mahia players swarmed around Amol and his assistants Stephen Yiembe and Wycliffe Amenya to chide them for frustrating their efforts with ‘questionable officiating’.
It took the concerted effort of match stewards, who formed a ring around the three referees and the match commissioner, Walter Ondiege, effectively whisking them away to safety.
As they strode away, all manner of objects, including plastic and glass bottles as well as vandalised seats uprooted from the stands came flying in their direction.
Meanwhile, the General Service Unit (GSU) officers who had been deployed to the stadium lobbed teargas canisters on the charging mob of unruly fans who relentlessly bayed for the match officials’ blood.
Incidentally, Kasarani has become a haven for hoodlums. This is not the first time Gor Mahia fans have unleashed terror on their opponents at the facility. Only a fortnight ago, Shabana FC fans had to scamper for safety after another set of wild K’Ogalo fans menacingly charged toward them at the same facility.
In 2019, Gor Mahia had to pay a hefty fine after unruly supporters fermented trouble during a tension-ridden KPL matches against AFC Leopards and KCB.
In the first account, the Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC) fined the record champions Sh606,000 for acts of hooliganism against KCB.
And in the second, K’Ogalo had to cough out Sh300,000 for kicking up a storm in a Mashemeji derby against bitter rivals AFC Leopards.
The IDCC reminded Gor Mahia that the law required them to control their supporters and members of staff and ensure they behaved fairly.
We have previously raised concerns about the ballooning incidents of crowd trouble that continue to mar KPL games.
However, singling out Gor Mahia fans for condemnation would be unfair, given that hooliganism cuts across the league. We recently witnessed AFC Leopards supporters going berserk in their match against Kakamega Homeboyz at Bukhungu Stadium.
All in all, the Football Kenya Federation and all the relevant authorities are doing great injustice to football by failing to take stern action against perpetrators of violence in our stadia.
Fans are leveraging such laxity and loopholes in the law to mete out violence on their opponents without restraint.
Lastly, FKF must take necessary action against all match officials found culpable of provoking crowd trouble through dubious officiating. In the same vein, clubs must vent their dissatisfaction using appropriate communication and legal channels.