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Daily Nation : February 4th 2014
50 | Sport FOOTBALL | Fans baffled by top two teams’ below par performance ahead of crucial assignments Tough task awaits Gor, Leopards Kenya’s representatives in continental football get wake up call in Charity Cup tourney BY ISAAC SWILA @IsaacSwila firstname.lastname@example.org and AFC Leopards to mount a serious campaign in continental football competitions that get under way next weekend. The two clubs are still coming to G terms with the embarrassment of failing the first real test of the new season during the Kenya Power Charity Cup at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday. League champions Gor Mahia got a rude shock whin they suffered a 13 drubbing by Sofapaka, who went on to retain the trophy, while a fullstrength Leopards were knocked out by a resilient Mathare United. The Slum Boys, who have been surviving on a shoe-string budget in the last two seasons, were the better side in a match that ended scoreless before they subdued Ingwe 3-2 on post-match penalties. K’Ogalo and Ingwe had been hugely tipped to make a big impression in the tournament ahead of their continental fixtures. But Sofapaka and Mathare United made mockery of the two club’s huge expenditure in the January transfer window. Leopards forked out a colossal Sh1.6 million to bolster their squad, Gor spent Sh610,000 while cashstrapped Mathare only spent a paltry Sh75,000 to sign 11 players. League’s big spenders Sofapaka were the other spenders splashing out Sh1.3 million to bring mercurial midfielder Humphrey Mieno back into the fold from Tanzanian club Azam. Batoto ba Mungu also signed six other players for free oing by the events of the weekend, doubts have emerged over the capability of Gor Mahia with the who cost ment fee paid t While conclude not up to formanc queries than ans Ingwe pre-seas regime ber meaning matches only pl handful m a t c h a g a i n lower d sion sides. Be s id their showing coach Bobb and his terpart scratchi there is news fro room. Leopa striker A Wa n g a w h o o n l y recently recover knee inj off durin against with a thigh. W latest inju rule him week m that he racing time to fitness weeken against FC Defenc Confede prelimi first leg tie The f We made many mistakes during the match which we must rectify going forward. Our finishing was poor though the defence looked okay” James Nandwa, AFC Leopards head coach Atletico striker jo Anthony casualty has been up to si undergo ing an operation on his trou blesom right Coach Na said Wang assessm his statu believes Mathare w MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION Sofapaka’s Feli Mulumba (left) battles for the ball with Rama Salim of Gor Mahia during their Kenya Power Charity Cup match at the Nyayo Stadium on Sunday. Sofapaka won 3-1. DAILY NATION Tuesday February 4, 2014 COMMENT | Isaac Swila What will it take to end this madness? A t times one just sits and wonders what it will take to weed out hooliganism from Kenyan football. On face value, its propagators - Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards - ruffians may not understand what the repercussion are, but in long term, they do much harm than good to the game and even greater harm to the clubs they purport to support. Take for instance the Sunday’s Kenya Power Charity Cup; an event which was organized with the noble objective of raising funds for charity, but to which was blotted by the violent actions of a section of fans from the two clubs. Though past cases of their un- couth behavior are well documented, the powers that be of Kenyan football have way far been too lenient on these merchants of violence. Little wonder the corporate world has in the past given Kenyan football a wide berth. As an illustration, Safaricom’s non-involvement with the game will suffice here. East Africa’s most profitable company, which rakes in billions of shillings annually in pretax profit, has curiously stayed away from football in the country. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. No profitable organization with a reputation to keep would ever think injuring their corporate image by wading into the murky waters that is Kenyan football. Street battles Kenyan football fans (read Gor and Leopards) have indeed built for themselves one hell of a track record. If not vandalizing stadium facilities then the two sets of fans will be stoning motorists on the highway or fighting street battles in the aftermath of match. Sadly though, despite their open lack of civility, disciple and decorum, Gor and Leopards continue to enjoy near fanatical support fan their faithful fans. According to Kenyan Premier League CEO, Jack Oguda, stamping out hooliganism should be an all-inclusive effort that should bring on board all stakeholders. Oguda, however, defends his body from accusations of leniency on the two clubs whenever they propagate lawlessness and anarchy in the stadia. “We have not been lenient; in the Sofapaka declare Premiership title ambition BY JOHN ASHIHUNDU email@example.com After retaining the Kenya Power Charity Cup crown, Sofapaka FC President, Elly Kalekwa is convinced his team will be a strong contender for this year’s Kenyan Premier League title. The team finished third last term with 50 points same as second placed AFC Leopards and behind the winners Gor Mahia (60 points), but Kalekwa believes the 2009 champions have what it takes to reclaim the league. “Winning a national championship is a good start to the season,” said Kalekwa who hosted the players to a luncheon in Karen yesterday. Retained title Sofapaka stunned Gor Mahia 3-1 on their way to the finals of the Charity Cup where they edged out Mathare United 2-1 in a penalty shoot-out after 1-1 stalemate on regulation time at Nyayo National Stadium to retain the title. Mathare had locked out AFC Leopards 3-2 on penalties after a 0-0 deadlock to book their place in the finals. Kalekwa dismissed rumours that his players went on go-slow last week to protest delayed payment of their salaries. The club owner also said his team has built a strong fan base after establishing branches in Nairobi and it’s environs. This season the team will use the refurbished Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos for its home match in the league. “We have decided to take our home matches to Machakos Stadium because there are possibilities of building a strong fan base in a town with a good stadium but no team to support,” said Kalekwa. past we have made rulings including fining and banning the culprits.What we need to do is to engage the fans more through civic education. The fans also need to practice self-policing,” Oguda said. The KPL boss added that they have organized a two-day workshop on February 12 and 13 which should bring together all the stakeholders to moderate on the same. On his part, SuperSport East Af- rica Manager Auka Gecheo, whose body is the single largest investor in Kenyan football, called for the implementation of the laws of football if the vice is to be dealt with. “It’s not rocket science, there are statues that govern football and enforcing the rules in such cases should be the norm. These rules exist, they are there in black and white and the goodwill rests with us,” Auka said.
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