The site at the entrances of stadiums before the beginning of every Gor Mahia match is usually one to behold. From the gigantic Jaduong CEO in a Mercedes S-Class to the normal Raiyaa overcrowded in green buses, it’s amazing. The noise snaring from the vuvuzelas is always deafening- guaranteed. The traffic snarl up usually lingers to the post-game. Some of the fans just savor the energy and ambience, not the football, some too drunk to figure out what’s going on in the pitch. The funny names that you on jerseys are just hilarious.
From time to time, during the match, you get accidentally elbowed by an over excited fan. You end up wondering whether it was really accidental or cynical. Sometimes after a goal is scored, you are forcefully hugged by a ratchet EdaAtieno – Yes, EdaAtieno. The hug is so tight and unpleasant; you end up wishing the goal was never scored. She then asks you what the name of the goal scorer is.
In the eighties, Kenyan football rivals, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards were among the giants of African football. They walloped hopeless opponents consistently and with ease. Fans were passionate rather than violent and players considered football as more of a passion than a career. Tactics were never heavily considered and as a result, balls always landed on the fans over a hundred times during a match.
Miles away in Colombia two rival clubs, Atletico Nacional and Independiente Medellin dominated the Colombian football scene.The principal financier behind Atletico Nacional was Pablo Escobar, the most notorious drug lord of all time. Atletico Nacional rarely lost a game, not because they were so good, but because of the threat Pablo Escobar posed. Anyone who undermined Nacional in any way was dealt with by Escobar. The major problem evident in Gor Mahia fans is that they have an Escobar effect.
K’ogallo fans love unnecessary violence. They are always unhappy with things. More puzzingly, whether they draw, win or lose they always cause trouble. Anyone who has been to a Gor Mahia game van bear witness to the amount of insults that are always thrown at opposing team players. This greatly affects the morale of the other team. Referees usually feel threatened too. Gor fans always fill stadiums to the fence and never tolerate nonsense. They don’t even tolerate sense. The issuance of genuine red card always triggers incontrollable outcry and subsequent projectiles.
The bottom line is that many referee decisions which have favored Gor were unjustified. Referees simply want to avoid trouble at all costs. Players also feel pushed to perform. A player who underperforms for two games is never spared seer backlash from the K’ogallo fraternity. Coaches too are never left out of the firing line. Strategy is based on pleasing the fans.
Too much passion is always dangerous. I’m more inclined to think that a majority of Gor Mahia fans are Arsenal fans, who channel all heir trophyless frustrations to local grounds. Despite hoping that things would be different at Arsenal, they can’t do anything about it. As a result, they focus all their energy on a team they can control.
Since being founded in 1968, he furthest that Gor Mahia has ever reached in a continental tournament is a quarter final. With the current fan attitude, continental glory seems more and more unlikely. It’s the voice of the fans that controls games and when the team is away on continental matches, there is zero fan support hence zero delivery. K’ogallo fans ought to stay calm and let the team play. All the fines and bans don’t benefit. They only taint its image in the eyes of the football world. A great team should draw respect even from non- supporters. Not disdain. I have no right as an Ingwee fan to trash Gor but decency is sometimes necessary. There is no ratchet legend in history.