Homeboyz on driving seat as hooliganism cloud FKF-PL second leg

Homeboyz FC players celebrate scoring against Mathare United FC during their FKF Premier League match at Kasarani Annex in Nairobi on February 12, 2022. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kakamega Homeboyz are on the driving seat to win the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) title this year after opening a five-point gap at the top of the standings thanks to a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Mathare United at Ruaraka grounds on Saturday.

This is despite the second leg of the 2021-2022 season being clouded with hooliganism scenes, a problem that has been disrupting the Kenyan local football league for decades now.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed in the abandoned clash between Gor Mahia and bottom-placed Vihiga Bullets on Sunday afternoon in a match that was staged at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.

In Ruaraka, Tusker continued with their resurgence after a difficult start to the season with a 2-0 victory over Ulinzi Stars while Sofapaka pushed Wazito further into the relegation mud after defeating the moneybags 2-1.

Kenya Police on the other hand continued to struggle despite heavy recruitment spree that has seen them sign stars including last season’s Golden Boot runners up Elvis Rupia, Gor Mahia duo Clifton Miheso and Harun Shakava among others.

Chaos back

The notable incident that left another dark mark to Kenyan football was that hooliganism is back to haunt the FKF Premier League.

On Sunday, K’Ogalo were leading 1-0 courtesy of George "Blackberry' Odhiambo's header in the 44th minute when hell broke loose in added time of the first half.

A fight between fans and Gor security stewards brought the match to a standstill leading to the center referee calling the game off after Vihiga Bullets declined to come back to the pitch for the second half citing security reasons.

Two fans and Gor head of security Lawrence Odhiambo were rushed to the hospital with head injuries after the scuffle.

Problem started when a fan was alleged to have jumped over the gates without paying the requisite entry charge of 200 shillings.

It is alleged Odhiambo had beaten the fan prompting more enraged fans to join in the fracas leading to Odhiambo sustaining head injuries.

The melee spilled onto the pitch forcing Vihiga Bullets to retreat to their bus for refuge.

Despite pleas to resume the match in the second half, Bullets refused with head coach Abdalla Juma blaming Gor for insecurity.

Last year on November 7, chaos marred the clash between Kakamega Homeboyz and Bandari at Bukhungu when referee and his assistants were at halftime over a controversial penalty he had handed to the hosts.