21 May 2018

Kenya: Does Hull City Really Have That Many Fans in Kenya?


These past few weeks we have had occasions to open many eyes to the real state of Kenyan football.

For once we were very happy to see a full Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani during the Gor Mahia and Hull City match.

Many fans had to be turned away since the stadium was full of fans!

Now that rarely happens and we must admit that most of our Kenyan football is watched by a handful of fans. Thousands if not a million others, watched the match on television.

It was amazing. The same thing happened when Gor Mahia were playing Rayon Sports of Rwanda.

The match was also beamed live and many Kenyans watched it. It was the same with the USM Algiers game even though the stadium couldn't fill up; perhaps it was due to the rain.

What we find awkward though, is the fact that most of those that thronged the stadium may have come simply because they wanted to watch the former English Premier League side play and not K'Ogalo.

We suspect that was the case and that suspicion gives us goose bumps. It scares us stiff since what we have been praying for is improvement in match attendance.

Football is a game that is fuelled by fans in the stands. It is for the fans that matches are played and the teams are sustained.

The trend of Kenyan football is really dreary on this score. Many matches I have attended usually leave me with pain and some sort of loneliness at the side stands. They become a drab affair lacking in all that there should be in sports.

The drought is over and the rainy season has come in. A few months ago we were blaming everything on the drought.

Animals were dying for lack of water; playing surfaces on the pitches were browning due to lack of water; fans were not attending matches due to the heat et cetera.

When the rains set in, we shifted the blame towards that. Playing surfaces are soggy and impossible to play on due to the rain; dams barriers are breaking and causing fatalities; fans could not attend the matches due to the rain; everything has now turned to rain bashing.

The circle will soon be completed and we will blame sunshine again. It is our ritual in this country and it will never change.

When Gor Mahia played Hull City, Kasarani was glittering. The refurbishment of the stadium was visible for all to see. The greenness of the pitch could inspire someone to pen a poem.Just a few days later, the rains pounded the place and we realised the pitch has no drainage.

A good match between Gor Mahia and the Algerians was washed in the mud of the pitch. It was a shocking sight to behold and those responsible must do something about it.

After all is said and done, we ask all Kenyans to change their attitude about our local football.

It is not a sin to watch the English Premier League but we must also give time to watch our own. Only good shall come out of it.


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