Headache of hooliganism
That crowd trouble and to a larger extent hooliganism is the worst thing to have happened to Kenyan football in recent times, besides mismanagement and corruption, is not subject to debate.
And that the Kenyan authorities don’t have a clue on how to eradicate this ever increasing vice in our stadia is perhaps the biggest headache.
For those with doubts that this is the case need look no further than the 2013 Kenyan Premier League Awards Gala staged at the Safari Park Hotel last week.
The event, whose primary aim was to reward the best performers during the just-concluded 2013 Tusker Premier League season, instead turned out to be the best platform for football authorities to share out the blame on this subject, which dominated the dignitaries’ speeches.
The two main sponsors, broadcast rights holders SuperSport and Tusker urged the administrators to sort “out the chaos.”
“I am appealing for an urgent and long-lasting solution to this (crowd trouble) matter. We are concerned about the safety of our equipment and crew,” said SuperSport head of Africa Andre Venter.
“Nobody wants to be associated with the chaotic scenes we are witnessing in the stadia. It should stop,” Kenya Breweries Managing Director Joe Muganda added.
Football Kenya Federation president Sam Nyamweya appeared to blame the police for “not offering adequate security during games,” and especially during the GOtv Shield final between AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia.
During that match, fans stormed the pitch after scaling the perimeter fence to celebrate Leopards victory over Gor, forcing security officers to fire teargas canisters to disperse the crowds. Tens of fans were injured in the ensuing melee.
“We were not given adequate security. By 10am on the day of the match, I received phone calls from my team on the ground that the police had yet to arrive at the venue,” said Nyamweya.