On Mashujaa Day (20th October), there was a match between AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia at Nyayo Stadium from 6pm. Chaos broke out during the match, which was then aborted afterward. This is not the first time fans of both teams have fought each other; the clashes go way back to the 80’s (maybe further back!). Sometimes fighting broke out even before the match began!
Recently, the most watched Kenyan derby has seen some peaceful times. This football season saw Gor win 3-1 in the first leg of the Kenya Premier League, and lose 3-0 to AFC in the second leg. Both matches were peaceful. There was respect among the fans. The ‘shemeji’ respect.
Now on Thursday, all that progress made in the peaceful matches precedent was thrown to the dogs. AFC Leopards was playing Gor Mahia in an FKL Cup semi-final. At half-time, both teams were 0-0.
During half time, both teams cheering squads danced around the field, and even when they met there was no violence as each dancing team wiggled its way through the meeting point. I have captured both clips…and will upload them on YouTube and on this blog.
Gor scored early in the 2nd half; and shortly afterwards Mike Barasa collided with the Gor keeper and stayed down for a long time, eventually he had to be carried off the pitch.
While he was down, Gor fans took the chance to celebrate, dancing around the stadium with flares and taunting(provoking) the AFC fans.
At this point, some scuffle broke out at the Russia(the side opposite the main stands) side, as AFC fans turned back the Gor fans. There was tension at the stadium and even when the match resumed we stayed on our feet. I remember one Gor fan who was on the AFC side being pursued by AFC fans, and only cops who surrounded him saved him from a random beating. I don’t know why fans were in such a foul mood!
Like 10 minutes after the match had resumed, I saw something heavy being hurled from the AFC (not a stone though), which landed inches from a linesman and a ball-boy. A plastic bottle landed on the field, and objects (including stones) started flying. My friends and I hurriedly left the stadium.
From what I hear afterward, fans of both teams hurled stones at each other and towards the pitch. Police dispersed the fans with teargas, and the match was abandoned, and later the win was awarded to Gor Mahia.
Gor Mahia will now meet Sofapaka on Wednesday 26th for the finals of the FKL cup.
In Other News: AFC Drew With Mathare United in the KPL Fixture this past Sunday
Played in a stadium that was sprinkled with a handful of AFC fans, the KPL fixture of Mathare United vs AFC Leopards was slow-paced in the first half and quite entertaining in the second.
While our players seemed to lack a plan in the first half, Mathare Utd was very organized in its attack, and perhaps because they have very tall players, they scored through a header in the first half to put them in the lead.
Still in the first half, AFC goalkeeper Matasi made a mistake that let the slum-boys take a 2-0 lead by the end of the first half.
In the second half, the tables turned around and it was now AFC players putting pressure on the Mathare side, until Llyod Wahome scored an own goal while he was defending his side. That made it 1-2!
Mike Barasa later shot in a penalty that saw the match end 2-2!
This leaves AFC Leopards 5th on the league table with 38 points. The next KPL fixture for AFC is next weekend against Chemelil Sugar at Chemelil. Which of the sugars is sweeter, Chemelil or Mumias? We shall find out this coming weekend! Stay tuned!
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All pictures used in this post courtesy of nation.co.ke