Kenya: Bandari's Loss to Equity Points to a Looming Crisis

A fortnight ago, I raised the red flag when Bandari Football Club lost 3-0 to league rookies KCB Football Club in a Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League match in Nairobi.

The heavy loss was quickly followed by a goalless draw against relegation candidates Western Stima in Kisumu and because the result came after we had registered two other draws in league matches at our Mombasa home ground, I became concerned as a die-hard fan.

I am sure a section of the club's loyal fan base and members of the club's current board are also concerned by the spate of poor results.

A top member of Bandari FC's board of management who attended both matches against KCB and the Western Stima shared with me his frustrations and warned that the worst is yet to come if the display by the boys in the two matches is anything to go by.

"I couldn't believe I was watching Bandari because the boys played without any feelings, just hitting the ball around like lost sheep," the official whom I have chosen not to name for now, said.

His views immediately drew the ire of members of the team's technical bench who felt the boys were just unlucky against Western Stima in a match the technical officials claim they dominated while attributing the huge loss to KCB to lack of fitness.

I gave them the benefit of doubt because being experts, I thought they had an elaborate assessment of the situation. I ruled out any sabotage.

Then came the FKF Betway Cup quarterfinal match and boom! Defending champions Bandari were eliminated by a solitary goal against Division Two side Equity Bank, a shocking result that can't be explained away even by the Swahili saying "Mpira hudunda" (a ball bounces in different directions).

I am still lost as to whose version of events I should believe between that of the member of the club's board of management and the technical bench officials.

I suspect the latter could be trying to sugar-coat a looming crisis which will soon explode.

The results of Bandari's match against Equitygives the Harambee Stars coach Jacob "Ghost" Mulee, room to scout for players deep in the villages where there is untapped talent.

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