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Hooliganism has to stop

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 23 – Shameful incidents by Gor Mahia fans at Sunday’s Kenya Premier League match once again shed football in bad light.GORApparently irked by the officiating during their 2-1 loss to Mathare United, Kogalo fans delayed the start of Sher Karuturi Sofapaka match, by throwing missiles onto the pitch and assaulting Mathare fans.

It was like a throwback to the eighties when Gor fans were notorious for such decadent behaviour and what’s worse; this commotion caused a half hour delay for the start of the Sher match which was live on Supersport.

And it’s not even a one off incident rather a premeditated attack.

Only two weeks ago, they stormed into their team’s training session in Eastleigh high school demanding the removal of the then coach James Siang’a.

A similar confrontation was again witnessed in Thika with the fans incandescent rage at the veteran’s coach losing streak.

Never mind that this is the man who saved them from relegation last season. But having succeeded in forcing Siang’a out, the fans now directed their ire to referees at Sunday’s game.

And what makes it worse is that last season, Gor fans were again involved in the only fracas of the season during their match against Red Berets at City Stadium.

But they never learn. Do they?

Gone are the days, when fans meted out justice on any controversial decision in the form of stones, pitch invasion and running battles with police. Also gone are the days when Gor Mahia received preferential treatment because of its status.

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They should borrow a leaf from AFC Leopards fans who after their opening match of the season was abandoned after they brought down a barrier, have been one of the best behaved sides in the League.

KPL organization also came into sharp focus. To say security was lax was an understatement given that matches were live on Superpsort. They must up their game and ensure that there is adequate security to protect the referees, fans and players.

They must also take stern action against Gor Mahia. They are not first offenders and they should certainly throw the book at them.

A suspended fine will not do this time, points’ deduction, playing behind closed doors and even fans being prosecuted for assault should be considered.

This will send the perfect signal.

That violence will not be condoned. It also help the Gor administration grasp the seriousness of the issue and treat it as such because not all Gor fans threw stones. Just a few misguided fans who have refused to move with the times.


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