Friday, April 19, 2013

AFC Leopards must be reprimanded

Just what will it take to end this Ingwe ‘madness’? My words have been very carefully chosen here because just twenty four hours to their match against Chemelil Sugar in a KPL Top 8 match, it was their new coach Luc Eymael who exclaimed in total exasperation: “It’s madness here... I am very irritated”.
To put things in context, a missed ride to the team’s training ground on Monday afternoon was the source of the Belgian’s frustration.
But if the gross maladministration of Ingwe is indeed madness, then I can’t find the right words to describe the shameful act of the club’s fans in recent days.
In my last column, I wondered aloud how the Sports Stadia Management Board (SSMB) could grant Leopards a carte blanche in their facilities yet the conduct of the team’s fans has lately left a lot to be desired.
Under the guise of protesting ‘poor officiating’ Ingwe’s fans set the tone of their agenda this season by ripping off seats at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on the very first day of the season after their match against Chemelil Sugar ended in a 1-1 draw.

On Wednesday night the same hoodlums once again went on the rampage at Nyayo National Stadium as their team faced imminent defeat to the sugar millers. Yet again, their scapegoat was ‘poor officiating’.
For too long Gor Mahia fans have been depicted as the vile ‘war merchants’ in Kenyan football. But at this rate, AFC Leopards are will sooner rather than later stage a coup on Sirkal.
If Leopards fans can resort to violence and wanton destruction of property against a team of Chemelil’s ilk, then what will happen when they meet their eternal nemesis in three weeks’ time? So the question is: for how long must Leopards continue in their wayward ways before the authorities take action?
During that first match, against Chemelil on February 24, a top Leopards official had the nerve to shift blame on the home team (Chemelil) for their failure to put up sound security measure never mind practically all the fans inside the stadium were donning Ingwe’s famous blue and white hoops.
It will be interesting to hear what the team’s administration will proffer in defence of the vile fans if and when KPL holds to them to account for their actions.
That said, no amount of lame excuses can justify the violence that was meted out by Ingwe fans on Wednesday night. The authorities must act now!

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