2 Feb 14

It is a fact that most fans of Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are peaceful and are interested only in cheering for their teams. In fact there have been several peace initiatives among fans of both clubs to promote peace during matches pitting the two teams.

However there remains a small element of the fan base that cannot accept defeat and will resort to hooliganism of all kinds when results do not go their way.

These hooligans have been captured several times on television and in newspaper pictures. Their behavior is often seen by fellow fans. During a recent television interview , newly elected Gor Mahia officials Naima Oketch suggested that one day to deal with hooliganism is to give all fans a sense of ownership in the club. The logic here is that if fans are given a sense of ownership, they are unlikely to engage in activities that destroy the club’s image. However that idealistic view will not stand the test of reality.

Most hooligans are young people who are at an age where they feel invincible. In all populations, people between age 18 and 23 tend to feel a sense of invincibility. There are scientific studies that show that the part of the brains of people in this age-group that is responsible for proper judgment is overwhelmed by their sudden sense of independence after reaching adulthood.

Hooliganism is not unique to Kenya nor is it unique to football as Canadian Ice hockey fans proved in 2012

It has also been proven scientifically that the part of the brain that is responsible for comprehending the consequences of ones actions is not fully developed until a person reaches age 23. It is the primary reason for University student riots all over the world. This is not to say that all hooligans are in this age group. But most are.

The only medicine that will cure people in this age group from their penchant for hooliganism is a stint in a jail cell.

It is high time that fans of both teams took it upon themselves to report the hooligans they know. If a person is caught on television cameras committing acts of hooliganism, then anyone who knows him should visit the police station and record a statement.

Charge hooligans as criminals

There have indeed been cases where fans turned over hooligans to the Police. But after holding said hooligan in a police car for 1 or 2 hours, they were released. This only serves to empower them because they can now go to their neighborhoods and brag to their friends. But a one week stint in a jail cell or possible criminal charges against hooligans caught in the act will send a chilling message to other hooligans.

This author has never heard of a case where a hooligan was charged with public vandalism or any other act of hooliganism. It is no wonder that hooligans feel invincible.

All it would take is for a few hooligans to be paraded in front of cameras and sentenced to prison for a prison term commensurate with their vandalism. Other potential hooligans will watch this action and will now think twice before

FKF Chairman Sam Nyamweya was correct when he told the Minister for sports Hassan Wario that the government must step up its efforts to combat hooliganism. Of course Hon Wario was not amused and vehemently defended his government. But the fact remains that neither the FKF nor clubs have the wherewithal to combat hooliganism. The government must step up its efforts to combat this menace.

It was dissapointing to hear the sports minister describe seeing a hooligan committing vandalism on television yet the governemnt did absolutely nothing to apprehend this hooligan despite the fact that he had been caught in the act by cameras.

Fans who enter free should be charged with trespassing

It is also a fact that Police contribute directly to hooliganism. Recently a policemen was caught on camera accepting a bribe from hooligans whom he then allowed to scale the fence at Kasarani. It is these same fans who have no regard for the rules that are typically guilty of hooliganism. On other occasions, fans have been scaling the fence or entering the stadium through holes in the perimeter fence. Once again, if any of these fans are publicly charged with trespassing, it will send a chilling message to other would be tress-passers. When television cameras catch these fans slipping into the stadia, other fans who know them should take it upon themselves to report them to the police.

The Police should pull up their socks

There have been cases of Policemen accepting bribes to allow fans to scale the stadium fence. This has been documented above. Police also see all fans as the enemy when in reality most fans are peace loving and could offer the police cooperation in naming known hooligans. As has been stated several times, most Gor Mahia and AFC fans are peaceful and will gladly cooperate with the Police.

Most GM fans are peace loving and often seen in bringing colour to Charity events such as this Stanchart Charity run

Since the Police see all fans as the enemy, there are documented cases where they flatly refuse to listen to anything the fans have to say. Such was the case during the 2014 Charity cup match where police brushed off fans who were seeking their assistance and trying to offer cooperation.

Ban certain fans from stadiums

In the past there have been a few cases where certain fans were banned from the stadium. However these same fans returned to the stadium the very next weekend and laughed with impunity at the ban.

The names of fans who have been found guilty and after due process been banned from the stadia should henceforth be published in the papers.

Fans should now develop a culture of reporting these fans to the police if they are seen anywhere in the vicinity of the stadium.


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9 Comments.

  • jathur gi ji says:

    On the pitch and match result I have nothing much to say, thats for the TB to correct and am sure they will do something about it.In my opinion the boys played a beautiful game.

    On everything else that happened at the stadium and environs am appalled to the bone. My question to organizers, THE BLAME IS SQUARELY ON YOURSELVES, this is not the first time an event of such magnitude is taking place. Was it too difficult to anticipate such occurances? Anybody who attends soccer matches at Nyayo will know the hot spot, where trouble begins; So why is it that there cannot be a buffer zone between fans of AFC and Gor on the Russian side, properly manned by armed police who keep their eyes firmly on the trouble makers rather than watch the game.

    Who was in charge of the police at the stadium? How can police be sitting pretty watching game as people are jumping over fences into the main stand, what does it mean for people in main stand to pay more than the terraces. Some police were comfortably sitting in the press box as people were jumping in to to the main stand just under their noses!

    Why are we courting disaster, is this not the same place where we lost over ten people just in 2010? Yesterday we were clearly on our own,people had children/babies, and the way the tear gas were lobbed the stampedes could have resulted in to some too tragic to fathom. Nyamweya,where were you,the sponsors of the charity cup, where were you.WE WANT TO SEE PEOPLE ARRESTED AND CHARGE IN COURT.

    Lastly, shame on you if you did any of the following
    – threw stones or any objects either at police or anybody else
    – Jumped over a wall
    – broke a chair, or carried a chair to your wife/husband/children
    – blocked a road/interfered with traffic
    – stole anything in the confusion
    – watched the game in police uniform,instead of providing security

  • jb says:

    i am really in pain what i went through yesterday was really beyond my expectation i passed out since i was born 30 years ago i have never had this ….as i was approaching the stadium from langata road is t when i had it all i was on my phone and the teargas landed on my hand i got chocked behind me were several police officers i fell on my heap as i tried to get up the air was blue .. i was losing it the very officers who were near me clobbered more teargas were it not for one hooligan who managed to return one to them i surely saw death. so what will happen to my daughter if i die in stadiums? now i am so sick , tired i don’t think i will go to work for the next three days , i am really unhappy with this i suggest that police have nothing to do with matches we should have them provide outward security. tickets must be sold through banks for gormahia matches and in advence , back to the blogger on hooliganism its the order of Kenyan society , we are in a hooligan nation right from top bottom politicians ,police,landlords matatu crew,parents, so let not identify with a small age limit of teens and early twenties as the real culprits as i was later told and many pundits agree the policemen caused the mayhem we are under lot of life pressures so when people come out into such events we better be care ful handling issue , i don’t think we need this kenya power thing next time .going forward to cub hooliganism we will need to prosecute the corrupt first especially the cheerleaders of corruption and actively do that once lawlessness is curbed hooliganism will follow suit

  • Sam Muga says:

    PLEASE!! PLEASE!! TRY TO ENGAGE G.S.U OFFICERS. POLICE HAVE FAILED IN CONTROLLING SUCH CROWD. AT SOME POINT I BLAME THE POLICE FOR WHAT I WITNESSED YESTERDAY. SHAME!! SHAME!! SHAME!!!!!!

  • oswozo moziek says:

    alot has been said about hooliganism and we have come up with suggestions and different ways of dealing with it and guess what?the powers that be have done absolutely nothing about it!!

    So,i will speak football instead.i will give my honest analysis of the team regardless of what people say or think.

    In spite of the massive recruitment,we are not ready for continental matches just yet.we struggled in pre season games against modest opposition.On Sunday,we were up against a good team and again we struggled.Sofapaka did not play to their strength yet they still managed to pump 3 goals past us….and with a lot of ease.

    i know people will say it was a friendly,mara we are yet to gel with new players and all,mara pre season,mara we are avoiding injuries.my question is…isent it pre season for all teams??dont we all have new players who are gelling??aren’t we all avoiding injuries?

    Lets call a spade a spade,the team needs to improve sooner rather than later.we knew about the continental games way back in November.despite the elections and all,we should have hit the ground running in recruitment of players and thereafter preparations.

    it now seems we are trying to play catchup in terms of player fitness and match formation.Our midfield against Sofa did not click until the exit of kizito and the introduction of Eric Ochieng and later Dan Onyango.Our defense was weak.Mieno and co.did not need to work overtime to contain us.Emuge and Musa being the weak links.Meanwhile,Felly Mulumba in defense for Sofa cleared everything that was thrown at him,literally and hence the difference between the 2 teams.Our strike-force was clueless and wasteful.pity we could not even string 3 passes together!!hardly the right ingredient going into a continental game.

    Unless we address the shortcomings that have seen us play so poorly in pre season and against Sofa,am afraid we will just be entering the continental matches to make the numbers!!!when we meet the north africans and west africans of this world,am afraid our shortcomings will cruelly be exposed!!Sofa outfoxed us and were more clinical when it mattered and that’s why they are the champions of that tournament.fact!

    Now,all those in denial….can start throwing words at me,its widely expected…and acceptable!!!but one thing is for sure,the team needs to improve….and fast!!!!!!!

  • Kassam Mwivangano says:

    I am against the whole fuss about the continental thing.
    Let the team be there and play football, win some lose some and climb up steadily.

    I have ever been against recruiting for the continental hot air and routine change of team after every six months because at the current GM’s level, continental matches are a matter of pata potea since there’s no build up from previous years.

    Why can’t the GM management stop this routine changes in the playing unit though two to three changes will be fine every year, then we can build a team from there.

    Definately GM’s main undoing is these unwarranted hire and fire in the playing unit, Matano style. It doesn’t work like that, never.

    I can now see a lot of us have fountd a new punching bag in Musa, we all know who this guy was and his abilities, we also are aware of how many coaches and more ‘coaches’ he’s ever been through and given this was just a match..we must be patient with each and every player for posterity..heckling, condemning and calling players names will not make them better.

  • fred odhiambo says:

    kassim@5.When one of your tyres gets a slow puncture isn”t it best that you fix that tyre so that it does not damage the rim and the whole car by extension?
    Our focus here is not primarily the continental games but all competitions that we will feature in.
    If the team has a certain weak spot it needs to be addressed early so that we do not get caught out when the matches start coming thick and fast.
    We may not be playing as per the fans expectations but i think some players need to really up their game.Lets not get left behind and start trying to catch up when its too late.
    All the best to the team!

  • Voltage says:

    I just heard on capital fm the coach lamenting that the playing unit failed to display the instruction they had been working on throughout the week and having noticed this he is in a position to make amends, i trust he will before saturday.
    Really i totally agree the problem was from the defending midfielder position whoever it was all the way to the back (with the exception of Walusimbi and Calabar). We just cant be able to all fall back in time when we loose the ball and when we do it is an uncoordinator painful slow pace. This is a mark of lack of fitness and players not being able to read moves.
    There we are good people, fitness and gelling is urgently required taking into consideration we have 5 days remaining before we take up Bitam. We shall overcome even under such alarming situation.

  • Barefoot says:

    No. Just billboard the hooligans. Period.

  • Jared Odhiambo says:

    The Blame rests squarely on the Police. Just before half time they just lobbed several tear gas canisters on Gor Mahia fans! Why? What provoked them into such an act,God knows!
    Gor Fans were by then following the game peacefully albeit the taunts from AFC fans.
    The Police had by then,as expected, positioned themselves between the two fans thereby creating a buffer zone.