What you need to know:
- Gor Mahia players, officials and fans alike felt aggrieved by the outcome, while singling out a decision by the center referee to rule out Benson Omala’s first half goal
- In short notice, Sports Kenya slapped the club with a Sh1.9 million fine and banned K’Ogalo from using the Kasarani facility
- Social media was awash with tit bits about the club’s new toy and on the big day, club honchos were all smiles and in good spirits
They say when it rains it pours. The past one week has been one roller-coaster ride for Gor Mahia. What should have been a celebratory week ended on a sour note following a series of unforeseen events.
When the club’s loyal fans congregated at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, two Sundays ago to receive the brand new Sh20 million 42-seater bus from ICT Cabinet Secretary, Eliud Owalo, the day promised to be a joyous for the club.
The idea was to make merry in the early hours of that chilly Sunday morning, then crown it all by trampling on league debutants Murang’a Seal later in the afternoon at the same venue, to move top of the table.
But things went horribly wrong on the pitch after the Murang’a lads forced an ‘unlikely’ barren draw. Gor Mahia players, officials and fans alike felt aggrieved by the outcome, while singling out a decision by the center referee to rule out Benson Omala’s first half goal.
Then hell broke loose at the final whistle as Gor fans vented their frustrations on a handful of jubilant Murang’a Seal fans. So much for a day that started in a carnival mood.
In short notice, Sports Kenya slapped the club with a Sh1.9 million fine and banned K’Ogalo from using the Kasarani facility. Then on Friday, Gor were forced to cancel a planned friendly match against Tanzanian moneybags Azam after Football Kenya Federation declined to clear them for the match.
Instead, FKF League and Competition Committee slapped the club with a fine of Sh500,000 for the trouble their fans caused after the match against Murang’a Seal. FKF also ordered Gor to play its next five matches behind closed doors. In its response, the club said it would appeal against those penalties.
Now, we’ve been here before. This is not the first time that Gor Mahia is being sanctioned for the misconduct of their fans. I’m afraid to say that it will certainly not be the last time either. Which is why Gor Mahia, being the big club that it is, must rein in the goons.
The week preceding the handing over of the new bus, the club, through its online proxies, took the trouble to ensure that anyone who cared to listen knew that they were about to acquire a prized asset. Social media was awash with tit bits about the club’s new toy and on the big day, club honchos were all smiles and in good spirits.
So why doesn’t the club show as much enthusiasm when it comes to holding their fans to account for their excesses on those occasions when things don’t go their way? Why is the club leadership so ambivalent on this one issue that has forever been hanging around K’Ogalo’s neck like an albatross?
The truth is, Gor Mahia fans keep doing these sorts of things because the club leadership is either incapable or unwilling to keep them on the straight and narrow.
That said, I can bet Gor Mahia will not pay any fine. The club will only be ostracized for a brief spell. Why? Because Sports Kenya and FKF are just as clueless and powerless on these matters.