Thursday, March 29, 2012

Post Match: KCB (A)

Leopards beat KCB 2-1 at the Nyayo National Stadium last night to open a three point lead at the top of the League. Mike Baraza scored both goals to send the Leopards fans into a frenzy. Here is how the press reported it:-

Brian Moseti of Futaa wrote:-

AFC Leopards emerged from a struggling first half to win 2-1 against 10-man KCB, in their Wednesday 28 March Kenyan Premier League match. 

The match started on a high with each side gaining access to the other’s box. KCB maintained a better ball possession throughout the first 45 minutes, closing with a 64% against AFC’s 46%.

Coming into the second half, AFC turned out to be the surer side,  upsetting the possession to 59% against KCB’s 41%.

The renewed force was also reflected in the scores, three minutes in, with Robert Syongo, Victor Ochieng and Mike Baraza, connecting well with each other, for a goal bouncing off Baraza’s boot. 

Syongo had received the ball on the right flank, and directed it towards KCB’s box, to find Ochieng, who back-heeled it for Baraza to seal the finish. 

With KCB struggling to come back into the match, Ingwe relaxed and for a moment appeared to sink into defense, constantly frustrating KCB’s Paul Mungai’s  and Jacob Keli’s runs inland. 

At the 78th minute, frustration appeared to get to Mungai who lodged a verbal attack on the second assistant referee, for what he appeared to describe as numerous unfair calls. 

This single act earned him a red-card, further deepening his side’s woes. 

A minute later, Baraza, in a solo effort drove a thunderous shot past KCB’s keeper Kaleb Adola, to double Ingwe’s lead.

With the fate of the match appearing to be sealed, KCB’s Ezekiel Odera, who came in as 70th minute substitute for Michael Oyando, found the back of AFC’s net, to earn his side a consolation.

The win topped Ingwe's ever-flourishing record to 21 matches unbeaten besides enabling them maintain the top spot they have embraced since the start of the season.

AFC Leopards: 1. Patrick Matasi, 5. Edwin Wafula, 26.Robert Syongo, 17. Jonas Nahimana, 40. Eric Masika, 10.Charles Okwemba, 4. Martin Imbalambala [Cpt],18. Salim Kinje [70’ Oscar Kadenge], 34. Victor Ochieng, 9. Allan Wanga, 11.Mike Barasa
KCB: 22 Kaleb Adola, 13 Bethuel Warambo, 3 Milton Milimo, 12 Joseph Apindi, 2 Dennis Omondi, 14 Michael Oyando [70’ Ezekiel Odera, 7 Jacob Keli, 6 Elvis Ayany (Cpt), 18 Clifford Alwanga [62’ Peter Wainaina], 5 Mungai Kiongera, 11 Benjamin Chaka [57’ Bernard Meki]

KPL website reported:-

TABLE-topping AFC Leopards showed diversity in their game comfortably stepping up in the second half from a low first, to beat KCB 2-1 at the National Stadium on Wednesday night.

Previously seen as a side that goes off the mark straight from the whistle, Leopards were unable to do it this time. But what a sense of timing it was as they injected a different gear into their game when it called for it, and in the end subdue a KCB side that probably thought they had Leopards on the ropes.

SuperSport’s statistics for the” live” match had KCB well ahead in the first half at 64% against 46% but as KCB did not capitalise on their domination, there was a perfect platform for Leopards to re-focus in the second period.

Apart from turning the tables in possession, 59% to 41%, Leopards made the second half form book count.

Three minutes from the restart, Robert Syongo, Victor Ochieng’ and Mike Baraza made their raid result in a Baraza goal.

The turn of events seemed to severely affect KCB’s nerve and it was most negative when Mungai Kiongera had to be shown the red card in the 78th minute after verbal misconduct.
A minute later Leopards punished this; Baraza going for his second goal, via an audacious taking on of the KCB defence and beating it with a determined dribble before firing past ‘keeper Caleb Adola.

Victory, then, looked comfortably sealed for Leopards but KCB were to get a goal from the unlikeliest of sources. Ezekiel Odera, the bankers’ top scorer and one of the league’s best in 2010 had moved on account of that prowess to Gor Mahia last season but failed miserably ending up with no goal and hardly a starting place in Gor Mahia.

Odera returned to KCB this season, not guaranteed a place in the team, but now in the seventh match for the bankers he was to score in injury time.

Leopards went 21 Kenyan Premier League matches unbeaten, since losing to Gor Mahia [1-3] on July 24 last year. Coach Jan Koops has been at the helm during that period.

KCB - 22. Caleb Adola: 13. Bethuel Warambo, 3.Milton Milimo, 12. Joseph Apindi, 2.Dennis Omondi, 14. Michael Oyando (10. Ezekiel Odera, 70’), 7. Jacob Keli, 6, Elvis Ayany (captain), 18 Clifford Alwanga (15. Peter Wainaina, 62’), 5. Mungai Kiongera,11. Benjamin Chaka (30. Bernard Meki, 57’)
Reserves not used - 1. Sammy Okinda, Gk; 25. Emmanuel Olupot, 23. Pius Andriano, 20. Geoffrey Maina 
Scorer - 10. Ezekiel Odera (90+)
Coach - James Omondi
AFC LEOPARDS - 1. Patrick Matasi: 5. Edwin Wafula, 26. Robert Syongo, 17. Jonas Nahimana, 40. Eric Masika, 10. Charles Okwemba, 4. Martin Imbalambala (captain),18. Salim “Kinje” Ramadhan (7. Oscar Kadenge, 70’), 34. Victor Ochieng’, 9. Allan Wanga, 11. Mike Baraza
Reserves not used - 19. Barnabas Tiema, Gk; 12. Augustine Etemesi, 50. Jimmy Bageya, 15. Francis Chinjili, 23. Abraham Cokie
Scorer - 11. Mike Baraza (48’, 79’)
Coach - Jan Koops [The Netherlands]
* * * *
Referee - Anthony Ogwayo Assistant ref - Hassan Omondi Reserve ref - Haji Adede
Match commissioner - Hezbon Mbogo

Timothy Olobulu of MichezoAfrika wrote:

Mike Barasa scored two wonderful  goals in the second half to give AFC Leopards an important 2-1 victory away  to KCB in an entertaining KPL match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday evening. The win extends AFC Leopard’s unbeaten run to 21 games and cements their places at the top of the log.

Barasa struck in the 48th and 78th minutes to get Leopards three points ahead of second placed Sofapaka. Substitute Ezekiel Odera scored the consolation for KCB in the dying minutes of the match as the bankers charged forward to stage  a nervy end to the tie.

The high tempo match started with both teams going out on attack and KCB taking credits for the opening exchanges. Benjamin Chaka was causing all sorts of problems to Edwin Baraza on the left with Elvis Ayany and Mike Oyando providing good cover.

Leopards were however the first to get a chance at goal with Jonas Nahimana heading over the bar after a Martin Imbalambala’s long throw.

In the 9th minute Erick Masika almost gifted KCB with the opener but Paul Mungai could not do much with the lost ball. The Under 23 striker went on the right before cutting in a cross for Jacob Kelly, but Jonas Nahimana was fast enough to cover for his compatriot.

Mungai then tried his luck from a distance in the 13th minute but his shot went wide.

20 minutes into the match,the Leopards were on the attack and Victor Ochieng shot wide after Allan Wanga's misfired shot fell on his feet. Ochieng again lost another chance after beating Kaleb Adola with a nicely cut in shot but Bethwell Warambo covered well to clear the ball before it could cross the line.

Minutes past the half hour mark, Victor Ochieng’ saw his header alone in the box go wide after Robert Syong’os return header from a uncleared corner.

KCB were again forced into another goal line clearance five minutes from the half time whistle after another short corner with Adola off his line.

On 45 minutes, Jacob Kelly had a decent chance but Patrick Matasi pulled the best out of himself saving the former Mathare United striker’s shot from the edge of the box after he was let through by Elvis Ayany. 

In a quick counter that led to a corner, Salim Kinje’s shot after a short start to the corner was acrobatically tipped off by Kaleb Adola for  an resultant corner.

In the second period, AFC , Leopards seemed to have had a sip of liquid Mumias sugar and they came back with more energy.

Three minutes from the restart, Barasa put Leopards on the driver’s sit with a wonderful left foot shot. Robert Syongo brought in the cross from the left and Victor Ochieng laid it off for Barasa who struck to beat Kaleb Adola.

KCB Coach James Omondi  reacted by pulling off Benjamin Chalka for Bernard Meki and Clifford Alwanga for Peter Wainaina. 

With twenty minutes to the end, the evergreen Paul Mungai’s shot went straight into Matasi’s hands as KCB tried hard to break the Ingwe defense. Not even the coming in of Ezekiel Odera for Mike Oyando would change things for the bankers who were enjoying much of the possession.

AFC Leopards‘ Salim Kinje limped out injured and in his place came in Oscar Kadenge.

KCB were reduced to ten men in the 75th minute when Paul Mungai saw a straight red after he appeared to have hurled some nasty words at the assistant referee after a call that he didn’t like.

Just a minute after the send-off Mike Barasa doubled Ingwe’s lead with a ferocious right foot shot after wobbling through two defenders.

KCB managed a late consolation through Odera who slapped in the ball after Matasi had punched it away.

The win puts AFC Leopards three points clear of second placed Sofapaka in the KPL Standings.

Brian Moseti of Futaa filed an extra report on the Man of the Match:-

After scoring a brace in their 2-1 Kenyan Premier League win over KCB on Wednesday 28 March, AFC Ingwe Leopards’ Mike Baraza was named the man of the match.

On receiving his award [a DSTV Drifta], the striker underscored the fact that there is immense talent at the Ingwe camp and that one has to work extra hard to make the squad.

"AFC has many good players you have to work very hard for the coach to notice you, he said. I was glad that I made the starting team, and that is why when it was my time to impress, I stepped up on the plate and did what I had to do."

The three points earned from the match, set AFC Leopards, who are the league leaders, three points away from their closest rivals Sofapaka.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pre Match: KCB (A)

League leaders AFC Leopards play against Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) at the Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday 28th March, 2012.

Sammy Kitula of the Daily Nation writes:-

Ravenous AFC Leopards switch their attention to KCB on Tuesday in an enticing midweek encounter at Nyayo stadium. 

The unbeaten league leaders have now won five of their last seven matches but face a dangerously unpredicatable bankers side.
Buoyed by a 2-1 away win against Western Stima over the weekend, Ingwe, who are yet to lose a match in 20 league outings, will want to build on their impressive run. They have scored 10 goals while conceding only two this season.
Already, Leopards’ goalkeeper, Patrick Matasi has rejected fears that they might buckle under the Sofapaka pressure and has urged his team-mates simply to enjoy their League matches. 
“I don’t think it’s about holding your nerve, but about going out and enjoying yourself,” the custodian said. “This is because those are the types of players we have.”

Second-placed Sofapaka have collected 17 points, same as Leopards, but with an inferior goal diffference. 
A draw is tolerable for the big cats, but it’s definitely not a desirably result. Used to winning now, Leopards’ fans have witnessed a spectacular turn of fortunes since head coach Jan Koops joined the side last year. 
And with Sofapaka breathing down their necks, maximum points is what Leopards will need to go for, given that they face the unpredictable Rangers FC in their next fixture on Saturday.
After scoring a brace over the weekend against Stima, centre half Jonas Nahimana will continue to be an important part of the Leopards’ hunting expedition. 
The Burundian turned Rwandese’s playmaking talents, including his passing and dribbling, will give him an opportunity to create many quality scoring chances against a Ruaraka outfit defense that is not one of the meanest in Kenyan football. They have conceded five times in six league matches.

With the expected return of Salim Kinje to Koops’ squad after pulling a calf muscle in that Stima win, the tactician has even more offensive firepower at his disposal.
With poven goal getters, Allan Wanga, Victor Ochieng and Jimmy Bageya available to the Dutch, key strategy in this game for KCB will be limiting the scoring chances the free-scoring Ingwe forwards can create.
If the bankers don’t defend well to begin the match, the men in blue-stripped jerseys could score some quick goals that would effectively end the match. On their part, the bankers will not sit and be clawed, but will need to call on their lead striker Jacob Keli to do the damage.

“We will give our best. We have a strong mentality and if we do what we are expected to, then winning the three points won’t be a difficult task,” Keli said.  

The league’s sharp shooter added that the match gave him an opportunity of catching up with the current top scorers, John Baraza and Kepha Awsani. Baraza scored twice against Ulinzi Stars for his sixth, while Aswani netted four times as Thika United humiliated Rangers 6-0.

Nancy Rose Ochieng of Futaa gives the following ticketing information:-

The Kenya Premier League side AFC Leopards is set to face KCB in a KPL match on Wednesday 28 March 2012 at the Nyayo National stadium.

Ahead of the match, tickets will be on sale by Ticket Masters at three outlets, City Stadium, Nyayo Stadium and Kenya Cinema as from 0900Hrs.

Only 6,000 tickets are printed for the Wednesday’s match, if need be, the remnant of 2012 encounter between the two KPL sides will be used to cater for the match.

The tickets will be selling at Ksh.200 and 400 for Terraces and VIP seats respectively. The sale will stop by 1600Hrs at the Nyayo Stadium as per FKF regulations.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fixing The Problem

In the wake of the disturbances that occurred at the football match pitting Kenya’s top two teams in terms of achievement and popularity, there have been knee jerk reactions that have predictably taken place. There have been a myriad of commentaries about the matter. The best thing though would be to take a deeper analysis if we are to get to the root cause of the problem and to offer solutions that ensure the repeat of such terrible incidents don’t recur.

In summary, Gor Mahia’s Ali Abondo was red carded by referee Davies Omweno in the 64th minute of the match and Gor fans did not agree with the referee’s decision. They threw projectiles on the pitch leading to the stoppage of the match for over twenty minutes.

The police lobbed tear gas at Gor fans most of whom cleared from the stadium. The match eventually resumed thereafter when the pitch had been cleared of the stones by the Gor players and other security officials.

After the match, the Gor coach John Bobby Ogolla blamed the referee for having been lenient on Leopards players whose tackles had put his players out of the game. One Gor official was quoted, amidst the mayhem that had ensued, to say he was hoping the gate collection was huge due to the crowd that had turned up. 

Leopards appealed to the football authorities to award them the match amongst a host of demands and the football governing body in the country swiftly moved to suspend the in-charge of security GMT Otieno. The Sports Stadia Management Board suspended Gor from using its facilities foe a year whilst a decision is still pending from the Kenya Premier League on the appeal by Leopards and on the threats issued by  Claws Trust, a supporters trust of Leopards fans, to institute legal action against the culpable parties.

But in the face of all these developments, there are issues that should be clear and which if addressed could go a long way into curbing the menace at the stadium that has been long with us and which we shouldn’t pretend to have begun just the other day.

Historically, matches between the two teams have always been high tension matches and clashes have taken place inside and outside the stadium. That is not in dispute. However, Gor seems to have a greater percentage of violence related incidents than Leopards. This necessitated a Ministerial Statement in Parliament when on July 25, 1985, the Minister of Culture and Social Services Kenneth Matiba declared that, “Mr. Speaker Sir, regrettably, it appears that it is the supporters of Gor Mahia Football Club who, more often than not, cause trouble.”

It is now folklore that whenever the two teams meet, there is bound to be some security risk. In the book, ‘How To Be a Kenyan’, former Nation columnist Wahome Mutahi dedicated a chapter called ‘A Piece of Leather’ to what one should expect when Leopards play Gor. In it he says: Should your team lose, that to you has nothing to do with the quality of the team, even if it played like a bunch of kindergarten kids. Blame the referee and as usual mete out instant punishment by rushing to the pitch to punch him. Then start throwing stones at anything in sight, particularly if it is mobile.

That a book published in 1996 still has relevance to what happened recently shows you that there seems to have been nothing done to arrest what was happening all those years ago. In the here and now, Supersport has taken Gor off the screens, SSMB has banned the club from its facilities for one year and perhaps more action is forthcoming from KPL.

But what should be done rather than the usual talk with no action?

Sports Stadia Management Board

Firstly, the SSMB has been given the mandate by an Act of Parliament to manage the sports facilities in the country and the biggest of them all are Nyayo Stadium and Kasarani. Yet at the scene of the last clash, one sees great incompetence by the SSMB in management of these facilities as can be noted from the failure to have basic sports facility principles followed through.

There are no numbered seats for fans who purchase tickets to attend the matches thus it is quite difficult to identify the specific scenes of trouble of the origin of projectiles as the fans purchasing the tickets are not tied down to any seat number. When the SSMB painted the terraces to show the sitting spaces, one would have imagined the next logical step was to number the rows alphabetically for each terrace and then have a number, even if its mere concrete. So that when one buys a ticket for Terrace 7, they would then sit at Row C12 or higher up at the terraces like Row P16. This is a bare necessity.

During the match, I noticed that many fans sat on the gangways or the aisle that is at the end of the terrace which is supposed to be for movement. This can be a disaster when there is reason to evacuate the stadium and unfortunately, there are no stewards to ask fans to be seated at the space for viewing rather than on the aisle.

Due to the lack of emphasis on seating arrangements, fans dance all over the stadium and thus occupy the area between the terraces and the perimeter fence. There is nothing wrong with dancing, and as an African nation, our songs have always invariably been accompanied by dance but it is important for the SSMB to ensure the dancing takes place in the terraces. No atmosphere will be lost if fans can come up with other ways in which to express their admiration for their teams.

Speaking of evacuation of the stadium, any architect would tell you that a stadium is designed in a manner that allows the flow of fans into the stadium at a controlled pace and the instant evacuation should there be any disaster. Usually, the exits should be more than the entry points. Gor fans were put at a serious risk when the police fired tear gas and expected them to run out of the stadium though the few entry points that had been opened. This stadium has lost a lot of fans and it is time there was emphasis on security of the fans and players before some actions such as lobbying tear gas at fans are taken.

There are usually loud speakers during national holidays at the stadium but during the recent match, the tannoy announcer wasn’t heard across the stadium. It is obvious that if the stadium was to be evacuated, the announcements would not reach all the fans as I later heard that there was indeed a loud-speaker at the Main Stand which wasn’t however heard across the stadium.

One point which has been raised by the Gor Secretary General is that there were stones aplenty in the stadium. It is embarrassing for the SSMB to be collecting huge figures of money from teams (and it is reputed they collected as high as Kshs. 800,000 during this match) and yet do little in terms of managing the facility. Clearing debris and rubbish should be a continuous exercise that goes on every time so that by the time people are being admitted to the stadium, the stadium is habitable and safe.

It is apparent that the safety of fans and players is not well taken care of by the SSMB. Leopards defender Abbas Kiwaalabye got injured in a previous match this season by a sprinkler point at the stadium. The stadium lawn is in a bad shape and when tackles fly, you see dust rising from the point of impact. Indeed, this may have contributed as a causa proxima to the injuries suffered by Gor players on the day. It is time this was also fixed.

Something else that should be highlighted is the decision by the SSMB to put up some extensions to the stadium by building some developments that seem to be office space outside the stadium. It is a shocking decision because some of these extensions are so close to the outer perimeter fence and may affect the flow of fans into and out of the stadium. The extensions are currently taking place near Gate 2 and Gate 3 which as we all know was the point at which seven fans lost their lives in a stampede on 23rd October 2010. It is my prayer that when making these extensions, the safety of fans has been considered and that this isn’t another venture to make money at the expense of fans security.

So before the SSMB starts making judgments about other people such as the Gor fans, it is time they also removed the log in their eyes. Leopards fans who will continue to use the facility will still be at risk (though with the high risk match against Gor now removed from the stadium) and will still end up being punished for no fault of their own during this recent match.

It is even rumoured that the stadium does not have any emergency power generator and that if there is a black-out, then a match is abandoned. How callous can the administrators be when they are receiving such huge amounts in gate collections?

With the blundering SSMB, it is a high time both Leopards and Gor bought or built their own stadia where they have full control of the stadium security and safety instead of merely donating money (a whopping 15% of the total collections) to a bottomless pit which is the SSMB.


The role of the police also should come under scrutiny for their actions have the effect of either quelling the violence or exacerbating the situation. Looking at Gor fans, having to run over barriers at the stadium in fleeing from the tear gas makes one wonder if there was any co-ordination with SSMB personnel and security officers before lobbing tear gas at the fans. Stampedes are made out of such decisions and one needs to ensure that the get away is clear before lobbing the tear gas as fans will invariably flee from the choking fumes.

Further, in other parts of the world, people are examining the health risks of tear gas and using other means to quelling riots. There may be fans who have lung problems and who may end up with serious health risks due to the lobbing of tear gas into the crowd. Claws Trust, announced that it was made aware of one fan who had difficulties in breathing due to her asthmatic condition and had to stay on at the stadium till late before she felt better. 

Lobbing tear gas, if indeed it is the necessary option, should be a means of last resort and there is extreme danger to the safety of the other fans who are peaceful. The best resort remains apprehending the people who are throwing stones to the pitch or at other fans. 

The police need to work with the leaders of supporters groups and branches in identifying all the trouble makers and having them nabbed and prosecuted in a court of law rather than merely lob tear gas at them and let them escape. This is why the police need to make demands on the SSMB to make sure that ticket sales include people giving the names of the person for whom the ticket is purchased so that it is retained for record and security purposes.

One other blunder that the police made on the fateful match was to clear Gor fans from the inside of the stadium and let them loose on the outside from whence they threw stones back into the stadium at the Leopards fans. There were moments when Leopards fans had to hurry up to the upper terraces to avoid being stoned and a few fans suffered injury when stones were thrown by the departed fans into the stadium as those rowdy fans were still in the precincts of the stadium. That was utter disregard for the safety of the Leopards fans and players and I believe it is partially due to this that the Leopards officials insisted they were playing on under protest.

Gor fan Okil Kamaloka posted an insightful post on the Gor Facebook Page in which he also asked why there was no buffer between the fans of the opposing teams. Pre-match, there has been hype that the area above Gate 6 would be no-mans land but the police allowed the area to be occupied. The police also seemed passive even in the face of blatant breach of security for instance when a fan jumped onto the pitch. Surely there have to be some proper security measures taken by the police rather than mere posturing.

Finally, Gor officials had also indicated prior to the match that there were plans to cause violence and it is obvious that where such violence threats are reported, the police have to be informed. Did the police take any action about the claims? this is a question that one needs to look at too since merely alleging and not acting will ultimately be the face of incompetence.

Gor Mahia

As for Gor Mahia, one of the lessons that the officials of the team, and indeed many other teams in the league should realize is that the respect for match officials is mandatory. The team officials shouldn’t criticize match officials as this often creates a perception of persecution to the fans. This is why the Gor officials should apologise to the match officials for questioning their decisions.

One may have noticed that after the red card was flashed to the Abondo, Gor players surrounded the referee and disputed the call. 

Moments like this end up inflaming the decisions taken and even if the same players ended up picking up the stones and telling their fans to calm down, they players have to realize their initial actions were a contributor to the fans reaction. Leagues in other countries have had campaigns such as the RESPECT campaign that is aimed at respect for match officials and acceptance of the decisions with the option of complaining to the football authorities (and not the media) after a match.

One of the drawbacks to our football is that the clubs are still living from hand to mouth and thus they are reluctant to spend more on security and on stewards but this is one thing that Gor urgently needs to address. Leopards have introduced season tickets which as still fraught with problems especially with some matches being out of the specific home venue and with no seat allocations at the stadium but perhaps one of the ideas that should be encouraged is to have various branches being allocated sitting spaces for their members or their members friends and guests to together and therefore being responsible for those areas in the terraces.

This will assist in the identification of the trouble makers who will then be prosecuted by the state. From the various photos that were taken by the media including some showing people with SSMB property such as water tanks and some carrying stones, the Gor fraternity can actually start with the previous match to show they are committed to bring an end to the madness at the stadia.

The obsession with nabbing those with fake tickets should be handled separately and prosecutions brought against those found engaging in the racket as this endangers the security of the fans and makes the point of having seat allocation even more valid as any two people who turn up at the same seat will mean one of them is having a fake (or mistake) ticket.

Gor has had a period of highs in the recent past and it is therefore understandable that their fans have high expectations of their team which finished the 2010 season in the second position. The team was expected to win the 2011 title but finished a respectable fourth. Thus, managing the expectations is something that one need to look at so that fans of any team that is on a high, realize there will be moments when they hit some lows. It is a fair warning to Leopards fans that are now on a high to ensure they keep their cool when the down turn arrives.

Each team should be asked to prepare a match day inspection record that shows all the security arrangements that were done before the match and the inspection of all areas of the match.

Having said this, the average Gor fan, one would like to think, is a peaceful fan and in fact most photos taken before the match, the fans were happily mixing with Leopards fans.

Kenya Premier League

As for the Kenya Premier League, the delays that have always taken place when there is trouble or incidents at any match have to stop. In the end, the punishment should fit the crime. 

Recently, the Rangers coach brazenly told the media that his team had no money to pay the referees which was an attack on the integrity of the match officials. It is not clear if the coach has been sanctioned or fined.

There has to be consistent action taken against all the persons who impute improper motives on the league and its officials. Fining teams and even docking teams points should start being part of the punishments meted out. Ordering teams to play before empty stadia has not been working and thus it is important to ensure that no suspended punishments are handed out as has been the case in the past.

Shockingly, the Football Kenya Federation, which has had a series of name changes came out to say that matches in the Nairobi Derby will be officiated by foreign referees.  This was a practice that took place in the 1970s and which was long discontinued and it shows the level of desperation to be seen to act (rather than to act) that bedevils our football.

The League should engage the Sports Ministry to enact at Football Spectators Act as they did in England after the disasters of the 1980s which will provide forhefty punishments and criminalize what has become a usual pastime of throwing stones to the pitch and at motorists during and after a match respectively. Such an Act can also criminalize even the verbal threats that are heard in Kenyan stadia and also criminalize the admission of fans into a public place like a stadium without taking adequate security. There should be proper inspection of turnstiles; control rooms; CCTV; emergency and ambulance services; segregation arrangements; seating, gangways and exits; escape lighting; fire fighting and resisting equipment; stewarding; emergency generators and so on.

Let us do more because ultimately, people’s lives are in our hands and the safety of people at the stadia when they go to watch football, should always be supreme.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Post Match: W. Stima (H)

Jonas Paco Nahimana scored a brace as Leopards came from behind to beat Western Stima 2-1. Look out for that word 'brace' and the phrase 'came from behind' as it will appear in many press reports below.

John Munene of MichezoAfrika writes:-

Jonas Nahimana hit a brace as AFC Leopards came from a goal down to secure a 2-1 win against Western Stima at Mumia Complex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The win extended AFC Leopards unbeaten run to 20 matches and keeps them at top of the KPL log with an unbeaten run this season.

This turned out to be one of the best attended AFC Leopards’ matches in Mumias with the Sugar town having been painted Blue. Being a Western Province derby, the match attracted thousands of soccer enthusiasts in the region with majority being in support of AFC Leopards.

The hosts AFC Leopards had the first break on play with Allan Wanga having great run just minutes after play on but his final touch went wide following service from a cross.Despite a brialliant start it was Western Stima who took the lead when Captain Fredrick Shimonyo converted from the spot in the 28th Minute after Ali Bhai was hacked inside the box.

Jonas Nahimama equalized a minute to the break after connecting to Salim Kinje’s free kick with a good header.

The second half had balanced action, the game seemed to be headed for shared spoils until the 80th minute when a goal bound Allan Wanga was fouled inside the box. Jonas Nahimana rose up to the task and did not disappoint to make it 2-1 for AFC leopards.

The win sets AFC Leopards a three points’ apart from second placed Sofapaka who have to wait until Monday for their fixture against Ulinzi Stars.

Rodgers Eshitemi of Futaa writes:-

AFC Leopards continued with their cinderella run in the Kenyan Premier League electrocuting a determined Western Stima 2-1, on Saturday 24 March, at Mumias Sports Complex.

Stima started brightly with Ali Bai troubling Ingwe defense on numerous occasion. 

In the 28th minute Bai's efforts were rewarded winning a penalty that was converted by Fredrick Shimonyo to put the Power-men in the driving seat after Patrick Matasi fouled him in the area.

Three minutes to the break, Rwandese international Jonas Paco Nahimana brought down the Stadium with his sterling header from Salim Kinje’s free-kick to make the score 1-1.

AFC could have extended the lead in the 55th minute but Bernard Mang’oli’s long range shot went wide.

Nahimana was again on the mark this time scoring from the spot to give Ingwe their fifth win of the season, after Allan Wanga was dropped in the box by Stima defender Robert Kwaye.

With this win, AFC have now extended their lead on the top of the table to three points over second placed Sofapaka who face Ulinzi Stars on Monday 26 March.

Collins Okinyo of Supersport writes:

Jonas Nahimana's brace guided AFC Leopards to their sixth win of the season as they came from behind to beat Western Stima 2-1 in an entertaining match played at Mumias Sports Complex on Saturday. 

Fred Shimonyo’s perfectly curled freekick in the 20th minute left leopards keeper Patrick Matasi flatfooted to give Stima the lead. 

Leopards dusted themselves up and pummelled Stima’s goal in search of an equaliser with Nahimana heading his first of the game two minutes from halftime. 

The second half was a see saw affair as both teams looking for a winner but it was Leopards who had the last laugh as Allan Wanga was brought down in the box forcing referee Damaris Kimani to point to the spot. 

Nahimana calmly slotted in the resultant penalty seven minutes from time to sounds of Isikuti drums and singing from their travelling fans. 

Leopards stay top of the log for the seventh week with 17 points from seven matches. 

"I am not happy with the officiating since Leopards did not deserve their second goal which was a wrong call by the referee," Stima coach Henry Omino told 

Kenyanstar writes:-

Playing this home fixture at the Mumias Sports Complex, AFC Leopards rallied from a goal down to stay top of the KPL with a 2-1 win over Western Stima.

Stima went ahead, scoring off a Fred Shimonyo penalty after 'keeper Patrick Matasi fouled Ali Bhai on twenty five minutes.

Rwandese defender Jonas Nahimana restored parity for Leopards, heading home on fourty three minutes as both sides went into the breather tied 1-1.

Second half action saw plenty of end to end action and with eleven minutes to play, Leopards' striker Allan Wanga was brought down in the box, Nahimana scored the resultant penalty that sealed the three points for Leopards, a result that saw them stay unbeaten and top of the table.

Francis Ontomwa of Sunday Standard writes:-

It was Isikuti meet Isikuti at the much hyped Kenyan Premier League (KPL) encounter dubbed ‘ The Western Derby’ staged at Mumias Complex on Saturday.

The match lived up to its billing with fireworks evident from both sides. 

League leaders AFC Leopards continued their unbeaten streak humbling a hard fighting Western Stima 2-1 in an exciting and temperature raising match staged under Mumias’ scorching sun.

Burundian import Jonas Nahimana scored a brace for the victors to cement their place at the top of the table.

A minute of silence was observed before the start of the clash in respect of the fallen Ingwe fanatic who perished a few days ago in the tragic Machakos country bus bomb explosion in Nairobi.

The match started scrappily with both sides losing balls out of play on more scores during the deadly encounter and it was sensational Allan Wanga who provided the first challenge of the clash.

His individual effort from the right flank nearly bore fruits for the hosts, but went wide. 

Captain Ali Bai for Western Stima nearly came close to putting his name on the score sheet in the 24th minute, but his challenge was parried away by in-form Leopards custodian Patrick Matasi.

A minute later Stima’s incessant pressure paid off when Bai was brought down in the penalty by Matasi and playermaker Fred Shimonyo struck home.

In an interesting turn of events, the goal seemed to awaken Leopards and the game’s tempo upped as both tacticians prowled the touch line. Three minutes to half time, Nahimana levelled things for AFC with a fantastic header from a Salim Kinje freekick from the left flank.

On resumption, Stima made early changes to their side that seemed to up their prospects. Veteran striker Mark Sirengo came in for Justin Monda as Alloys Mangi went out for a towering figure, Nelson Simwa.

Simwa combined well with Sirengo, but their efforts went to waste.
Leopards pulled the trigger in the 78th minute when danger man Allan Wanga was fouled in the box by Stima defender Robert Kwaye and Nahimana struck from the spot sending keeper David Juma the wrong way to ensure Ingwe bagged maximum points.

Leopards tactician Jan Koops praised his side for the win, saying he was impressed for extending their unbeaten record.