Sports Kenya is right to ban Gor Mahia from using the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, until the club pays close to Sh 2 million in damages after fans destroyed property during their Premier League clash with Murang’a Seal last Saturday.
Sports Kenya, who manage stadia across the country, and Gor Mahia’s management, should go further and identify the culprits, and punish them.
Most of them were caught on camera. That will go a long way in addressing hooliganism that is rearing its ugly head at a time when it has been relatively calm with fans trooping back to the stadia. Gor fans were protesting against alleged poor officiating in the match that saw their team settle for a barren draw with Seal.
That is not the first incident witnessed this year with hooliganism coming in different forms. AFC Leopards fans have on several occasions held their players and coaches hostage, protesting poor results as Shabana fans have on several occasions blocked traffic, celebrating their league victories, a move that has seen the club being warned by Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
While hosting clubs must have astute plans for security in their matches, it should be an all-round affair with both the government and Sports Kenya also playing a key role.
Security personnel deployed to some of these matches that are considered volatile should be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to crowd control.
In some incidents, however, the police have been on the wrong side. Some mishandle fan trouble, leaving things out of control. There should be a better way of managing hooliganism.
Poor officiating has been the major cause of crowd trouble in most Premier League matches. This is an area that FKF has not addressed in a long time. Referees play a big role in the development OF football in the country and low standards will continue to hurt the game.