The ugly side of Kenya Morans’ history-making feat at Nyayo gymnasium [Photos]

By Robert Abong'o: Sunday, January 19th 2020 at 12:30 GMT +3 | Basketball
Fans jam basketball court during Pre Qualifier 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championship match between Kenya Morans and South Sudan at Nyayo Gymnasium on Saturday, Jan 18, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya men’s national basketball team (Kenya Morans) made history on Saturday night, January 18 after outclassing fierce rivals South Sudan in the FIBA Afrobasket pre-qualifier final held at Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium.

Kenya’s 74-68 win means they will now proceed to the FIBA Afrobasket 2021 qualifiers set in November, joining Angola, Senegal, and Mozambique.

Kenya Morans ponder their next move after fans thronged jam basketball court during Pre-qualifier 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championship match against South Sudan at Nyayo Gymnasium on Saturday, Jan 18, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Even though Morans’ history-making feat was greeted with excitement countywide, it had an ugly side.

Before the scheduled kick-off on Saturday 6:30 pm, a huge section of the crowd stormed the court as the teams warmed up. According to reports and responses received by Game Yetu, several fans who had tickets were locked outside and had to forcefully make their way in.

The game had to be delayed for more than an hour [COURTESY]

Players had to vacate the court for close to an hour and a half, as FIBA officials struggled to bring calmness amid the confusion.

Questions emerged over Nyayo Stadium Gymnasium’s viability to host an event of this magnitude, as its capacity could not sustain the humongous crowd who came out to cheer the Morans.

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Fans sit at the periphery of the court - Nyayo gymnasium was full [COURTESY]

Fans, even those present at the gymnasium took their anger to social media, faulting the championship’s organisers for choosing Nyayo instead of another larger venue.

The Kenyans were able to overcome the Sudanese after improving on rebounds and denied their opponents chances to score three points which they seemed to have perfected in earlier matches.

Which begs the question, was Nyayo gymnasium the right place to host the FIBA Afrobasket pre-qualifier final?

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