Friday, 22 October 2010

AFC Leopards v/s Gor Mahia - Kenya's Football Derby

Yes, the Kenyan football scene works up some new fever and this time though the timing is slightly different given the fact that each of the team has different battles to fight for. Leopards' fighting for a favourable finish, while Gor is hoping to cut Ulinzi's table-topping lead points to a more realistic chance of winning the Kenya Premier League.
Both teams have had mixed fortunes in the run in the League this year with Leopards suffering more even with the earlier promise of a better finish. They also won the 1st leg of this fixture against K'Ogalo. But inconsistent form has led them to a high of 5th position (though currently at 8th place).
Gor on the other hand have a huge following and they shall be counting on the same to match their good form at the Nyayo National Stadium. But given the time in the season, the latter look to be yearning for a better show this time and the games left this one is the most difficult one.
The game shall be played at 1900hrs East African time and shall be screened on SuperSport 9. Tickets are being sold at the selected outlets and Nyayo National Stadium ( why create such a logistical nightmare in the light of the Kenya-Uganda game, can't tell...).

Predictions : Gor Mahia - AFC Leopards : 3-1
May the best team on the day win !

In other news, 2 Kenyan footballers have been called up by French clubs for trials. It's our hope they can do a good job and join our erstwhile and often unpredictable Dennis Oliech as we look to increase our Kenyan footballing talent in Europe.

Quick One:
Heartfelt wishes to the families of the fans whose lives were lost or who's hurt from Saturday's stampede. We had mentioned the organisational nightmare at Nyayo National Stadium a few weeks ago after the Kenya-Uganda game but no one from the Sports Stadia Management Board or Kenya Football Limited seemed to listen. How do you sell the tickets for such a game in one day and expect the crowd to be orderly?
We also mentioned the risk of a huge crowd and safety measures at the same ground. Sad that we have to wait for tragedy for us to make the necessary arrangements. We shall not apportion blame here but SSMB, FKL , KPL and also the respective club 'unruly' fans have a bad taste in their mouths on this one.
For future games;

  • Sell tickets 72 hours to the game and the final ones should be sold at the worst 6 hours to the game. 
  • Ensure the club fans are at the venue early enough and lock all gates an hour to the kick-off ( no preferences here) -  invest in big screens for late comers to view at a designated fan park nearby or around the stadium. 
  • Invest in new technology - why do we have to use people to cut tickets until the last minute before kick-off? Invest in bar-code ticketing and that way the only people you shall need are security people confirming safe entry.
  • Maintenance of the physical structures at the Stadium - for heaven's sake, how do you have 2-4 gates open when the venue is serviced by over 10 gates? Especially for a game of this magnitude? The excuse of late-comers and the weather doesn't cut. This is NOT the first derby of its kind and shall surely not be the last.

You have cost the clubs game attending fans and unless the necessary measures are undertaken, come March when we host another international match and who knows what shall happen...

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