Thursday, March 29, 2007

Were You There?

Entering the compound, one could hear people screaming, probably shrieking. People were huddled in little groups of about seven talking in nervous, animated voices. Everyone was nervous. That's probably why some were screaming/shrieking. A bit further into the compound, it was clearly visible. I had never seen anything like that at that place.

The place? Nyayo National Stadium. The time? Thirty minutes to kick-off. The occasion? The slaying of the Swazi by our very own Harambee Stars. Now, back to our story.

I had never seen people queuing at this stadium, let alone the long wavy queues that now snaked their way all over the compound. Everyone had a nervous smile and all conversation ultimately led to the exclamation: "We must win today!" But the general mood was gay, people were friendly and everyone was eager for the start of the match. So I bought my ticket and headed on into the stadium, passing through the tightest security check in Kenyan Soccer History (they wouldn't even let you go in with a bottle of water!)

The inside of the stadium was simply marvelous. By the time I had got in, close to every seat was already taken. The stars were on the pitch warming up, and a Mexican wave was making rounds amongst the seated fans. Some of the fans ( those from the VIP area) were getting some stick from the other fans for killing the wave once it got to them. They promptly got in on the act and the wave made complete rounds in the stadium. The response from the fans was heavenly : the whole place seemed to erupt in joy. I bet the Swazis already knew they were in for a bit of a thrashing!

Hardly had the game started when the guy over the loudspeaker announced that every single ticket was sold and the stadium was filled to capacity. I don't think that has happened in my lifetime. The fans were super, we sat through a good quarter of an hour's drizzle without even twitching a muscle at the thought of the rain (hehe) and cheered on our team, who weren't playing very well till then. Some fans were moving round the stadium motivating the rest of us and getting sections of the stadium loud and boisterous. Every attack by the stars was cheered on loudly. I was seated behind the goal which Kenya was defending and, hearing nearby fans shouting instructions to Origi (our keeper), I joined in. "Keeper, wacha kuenda sana. Rudi!" The uneventful first half came to an end.

If you haven't been to a packed stadium, with the Harambee Stars playing, and scoring the opening goal then you've seen nothing yet! Forget all about Alfred Mutua's car stickers - this is what patriotism is all about: erupting into wild jubilation with 30,000 fellow country men, and hugging everyone in sight. Mariga, for scoring the goal, must have been the most popular Kenyan at that moment. Everyone around me was singing his praises. Our nerves definitely calmed down a bit after that goal. They calmed down even more when the Swazi response was seen, was measured, and was found wanting. Now sections of the fans were shouting, "Oboya! Oboya!" They wanted him brought on. The pressure paid off and Mulee brought in the youngster. Almost immediately, he scored. This time, the fans did cheer, but not as much as they did earlier. It is interesting to note that Deno(Oliech) was playing real quality football and was deeply involved in every good Kenyan move and both goals. France definitely made him better. By now, we all knew the match was now all but over - the Swazi could not come back. They didn't.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Super 8 Soccer Constituency Finals

This weekend brings with it the start of the Super 8 Soccer tournament's constitutional Finals which will all be played at the Nyayo National Stadium. Our premier league being all but dead, the Super 8 remains as one of the hottest soccer events in the country pitting various areas of Nairobi against each other. Make sure you make it to these great matches!

March 31 2007:

Lang'ata Constituency (12pm):
Iron Strikers Vs Al Swafaa
Embakasi Constituency (3pm):
Milo FC Vs Dandora Adjentos

April 1 2007:

Starehe Constituency (12pm):
Forest Rangers Vs Huruma Cranes
Makadara Constituency (3pm):
Mbotela Kamaliza Vs Buru Buru Sacrament

April 7 2007:

Kasarani Constituency
Baba Dogo Vs Lucky Summer
Westlands Constituency (3pm):
Kangemi Youth Vs WYSA

April 8 2007:

Kamukunji Constituency
CASL Dads Vs Shauri Moyo
Dagoreti Constituency (3pm):
Kakamega United Vs Waithaka Babes

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Harambee at Nyayo

Today the Harambee Stars beat Swaziland 2-0 in a pulsating encounter at the Nyayo National Stadium, which was packed to capacity. The first half of the game was rather dull but the game burst into life during the second half when the stars went out to attack the Swazis. It wasn't long before Mariga scored a superb goal followed by Oboya scoring his after Oliech did some superb work on the flank and supplied the cross. All in all, it was a good game for us. Considering the fact that we've been out of international soccer for a few months before this, we should take some pride and say: Kenya has a good team. Woohoo!

(I'll be blogging more on this later)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tommorow is a Big Day

Kenya Vs Swaziland

Sunday, March 25, 2007

0700hrs Tickets sales begin. Gates to Nyayo stadium open
1400hrs The two teams leave their hotels with Police Escort for Nyayo National Stadium
1500hrs Teams at the Stadium for usual Inspection/ Checking Arrival of the Guest of Honour
1540hrs Teams march to the pitch and the National Anthems played
1550hrs Guest of Honour accompanied by KFF Chairman, Match Commissioner and Swaziland Team Leader greet the two teams
1600hrs Match kick-off
1645hrs Half time break
1700hrs Start of second half
1745hrs End of match
1830hrs Teams and Match officials leave the Stadium for their respective hotels.

We simply must win this one so as to have a realistic chance of making it to the Africa Cup of Nations next year. Be there, let's support our boys as they do us proud. (Technically, they are men but bear with me :-))

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Barclays Sponsors Soccer

The secondary schools' soccer tournament received a major boost when Barclay's offered a sponsorship worth sh. 9 million. The 3 year contract will be used to purchase equipment and kit to be used in the schools' soccer competitions.

This is great. It is exactly what we need since talent has to be tapped and nurtured right from the start. Hopefully it will go a long way into helping develop young promising footballers. Let's also hope that the current confusion doesn't continue long enough to destroy what this program may build.

Weekend Action

It was an even more chaotic weekend as things are quite hectic now that FIFA ruled that the two leagues have to be unified into one 18-team league.

Tusker 2 Sony 1
Mathare Youth 0 Sony 1
Gor 0 KCB 0
Mumias 2 Mathare United 1

Monday, March 19, 2007

This Week

I've been a bit under the weather so, as you may have notice, the real world has kept me away from wonderful blogosphere. But now I'm back, I hope.

This week has been pretty eventful for our beautiful game. As you should know by now, FIFA let us back in last week. this week they sent a bunch of guys to ensure everything was alright. These guys were supposed to ensure we adhered to certain conditions. They did just that and made it clear that the local premier league will have only 18 teams this season. That's final. That means AFC go down to the lower division. The FIFA team may also be onto something that may cause another storm by demanding KFF account for the FIFA monies they've been spending. That's cool with me - no when should get rich when all we get are hoarse voices from our wild cheering at local games (right?) ;-)

Good old Mulee is back as head coach, with Twahir Muhidin as his assistance. They have a tough job preparing the stars for Swaziland, who have been preparing furiously for the encounter with us. They held South Africa to a draw. The match will be this coming Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium. BE THERE. It was moved to Nyayo from Kasarani specifically so that us fans have an easier time commuting.

The week also so intense discussions amongst the warring factions in our football in attempts to comply to what FIFA wants. Let's hope these bear fruit.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A New Day Has

We were waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
We all knew we needed to be strong
Hold on and don't lose hope

Finally, FIFA lifted the ban on our football and thus Kenya re-enters the international football arena, meaning we can continue trying to qualify for the Africa cup of Nations - Swaziland awaits already us. Of course, all this is dependent on certain conditions.

(First paragraph courtesy of this site)

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Constituency Semi-Final Action!

The Super 8 Consttituency semi-finals were red-hot weekend with the pick of the matches being the elimination of former champions Dandora Youth by ten-man Milo FC in a very entertaining match at the Nyayo National Stadium. Here are the results:

Milo FC 3 Dandora Youth 3 (Milo won 3-2 on post-match penalties)
BuruBuru Sacrament 4 BuruBuru 58 FC 0
Mbotela Kamaliza 3 Bedjos FC 0
Forest Rangers 4 Ngara Youth Pelico 1
Huruma Cranes 0 Mathare Outreach 0 (huruma won 4-2 on penalties)
Iron Strikers 4 Kenyatta Youth 2
Al Swafaa 1 Kibera Zulu 1 (Al Swafaa won 5-4 on penalties)

The local league is still chaotic with two parallel leagues in coexistence.

Tusker 3 Homegrown 2
Chemelil 2 KCB 0
World Hope 1 Mathare Youth 1
Mathare United 0 Thika United 0
Mahakama 3 Kangemi United 1

Friday, March 02, 2007

This Week in Kenyan Soccer

It turned out to be a very uneventful week despite having the makings of a monumental week because of the big FIFA decision that was due yesterday but never came. Still, we found out that Kamanda isn't such a nice guy and may even be just another politian suffering from ADD. He's not sent the letter he's supposed to according to the most recent roadmap out of oblivion for our game. I hate politicians. Get out of the football scene, please.

In other news, you'll never guess which is the most famous team in Kenya, as voted by you.

Finally, an apology. I have not been able to come up with a list of fixtures of the current season due to the chaos in the league. Therefore, the links to fixtures in the sidebar may not work as you expect them to. Sorry about that.