Police, Stadia board did not play their role during derby, KPL

By francis marangu
Jun 10, 2021
  • Gor Maha fans celebrate a gola during sunday's derby against AFC Leopards.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Sports Stadia Management Board, SSMB, and the Kenya police came under attack on Tuesday for laxity during the Kenyan Premier League derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards played on Sunday.

On the face of it, the match won 3-1 by Leopards was peaceful since the usual confrontation between opposing fans was not reported.

However, CCTV cameras used on the match day have exposed huge flaws on the general organization. Gor Mahia, who were the home team, spent over Ksh. 180, 000 in contracting Logix Technical Solutions for security surveillance inside and outside the stadium.

During a meeting convened to review activities of the match, it was evident that police failed to play their role as expected.

There was no screening at the perimeter wall by 3pm when the match kicked off while many idlers were captured at the stadium’s main entrances trying to negotiate for free entry.

“We agreed on Friday that police would be at the venue latest 10 am but that did not happen as seen in these clips. The reason for that has not been explained to now,” noted GMT Ottieno, KPLs Head of Technical Services, Safety and Security.

“We actually protested to the OCPD but there is nothing we could do more than that. They were fully in charge of security.”

That could have been the reason why no senior police officer was present at the meeting apart from two juniors who did not speak citing protocol issues.

Stadia board on the spot

Ludovick Aduda, Gor Mahia CEO, turned the heat on SSMB saying they should take full blame for whatever that happened.

“They rake in 20% of the revenue and should have answers to this. They own and manage the stadium so no excuses at all.”

He pressed that even though police were supposed to take care of security matters, SSMB has the final say because they are the custodian of the facility.

“They should not be taking money for nothing.”

However, SSMB security officer Joseph Ndetto said it is the organizing committee which should be held responsible for anything that went wrong.

“Before such events, we usually hold a meeting with all stakeholders to plan on security and other logistics. We cannot be blamed for a collective matter.”

It was the first time in Kenya for CCTV surveillance to be used in a local football match and it is expected to cover more league matches.

“It was a pilot project. This is not about Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards as more teams will embrace the technology,” Otieno observed revealing that there were plans to cancel the match owing to security concerns. Football Kenya Federation, FKF, has welcomed the idea saying it will help stem out hooliganism.

“As a federation, we are excited by this idea of having our stadia covered by CCTV. This proves that it is possible to ensure the safety of fans attending football matches,” said FKFs media officer John Kariuki.

He hinted at the possibility of the same technology being used for future international matches involving Harambee Stars. Sam Aguko, Logix Technical Solutions’ country director, said a total of seven cameras were positioned inside the stadium to cover key entrances, terraces and the pitch.

“We could see every aspect of the stadium. The main aim of this technology is moving fans in a structured manner which will help nab trouble makers easily.”