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Gor Mahia’s Boniface Omondi (right) battles for the ball possession against Collins Shichenje of AFC Leopards during their KPL Derby at Kasarani Stadium, March 08, 2020. Gor won 1-0. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Amount of energy Gor, AFC used to outdo the other team was too much for soccer

Recently, I watched the famous Mashemeji Derby and what I saw was not soccer, but war on the football pitch.

The amount of energy each side used to outdo the other team was too much for soccer.

Soccer, as Arsene Wenger, former Arsenal FC coach once said, is supposed to be entertaining, refreshing and classical. There was none of the above.

As much as I agree that soccer is a contact game, what I witnessed was a bit too much. It was as if teams dwelt more on the physical than tactical aspects of the game.

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The derby lost its meaning when fans lost the entertainment and enjoyment.

In Kenya, we still employ a style of yester years; stocky players running aimlessly, pushing, hard tackling and scoring from hard shots.

Today, the game has evolved in that the passes are organised right from the defenders to the strikers.

The use of too much energy is likely to cause injuries.

As we plan to elevate Kenyan football, let us go back to the grassroots and start teaching upcoming players about being tactical and entertaining.

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Former US President John F Kennedy told of his vision of Americans being the first to go to the moon and return safely to earth. Many Americans opposed him and ruled out his idea. Ten years down the line, his vision was achieved.

Along the same lines, we can as well achieve and do more. We need one strong visionary Kenyan to change our perception, Kenyans are tired of too much rhetoric. 

Elijah Ichwara, Nairobi

Gor Mahia Mashemeji Derby Football

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