In the world of sports, the unity and camaraderie among fans transcend political affiliations and personal agendas.
However, when politics infiltrate the realm of sports, it often leads to unrest and chaos. Today, Shabana FC, the renowned football club, is set to play their last game of the NSL league against Kisumu All Stars.
With the title hanging in the balance, the potential presence of politicians at the match raises concerns about potential disturbances.
The NSL League and Shabana FC
The National Super League (NSL) is one of Kenya’s football leagues, serving as a stepping stone for teams aspiring to join the top-flight Kenyan FKF Premier League (KPL).
Today’s match is not only significant because it marks the end of the NSL league, but also because it presents Shabana FC with a crucial opportunity to be crowned champions.
As the game commences, Shabana FC finds itself leading the league with 70 points, closely followed by Muranga Seal with 68 points.
The outcome of both Shabana FC’s match against Kisumu All Stars and Muranga Seal’s match against Gusii FC will determine the final standings. The tension is palpable as the title could swing in either direction.
Politicians and Their Involvement
Unfortunately, politics has managed to infiltrate the footballing realm. Recent events surrounding Shabana FC and the presence of prominent politicians at their matches have raised eyebrows and sparked concerns among fans.
The involvement of Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro, and other leaders in today’s game has fueled speculation about potential disruptions.
The Kenya Kwanza faction hosted Shabana FC for a luncheon at Bomas of Kenya a few weeks ago, where Education CS Machogu generously donated Ksh 500,000.
Kisii County Governor Simba Arati, along with his Azimio leaders, also hosted a dinner party for the team at Kempinski Hotel.
During this event, Governor Arati revealed that a donor had pledged Ksh 20 million to Shabana FC and an additional Ksh 10 million if they were to win the NSL title.
The involvement of two factions, both supporting Shabana FC, has added an additional layer of complexity.
The question of who holds the position of Shabana FC’s patron remains a topic of contention, with some attributing it to Former FKF President Sam Nyamweya, others to CS Machogu, and a third group supporting Governor Arati.
This disagreement over the club’s patronage has further heightened tensions.
Fans’ Expectations and Plea for Restraint
While politicians engage in their power struggles, it is important to remember the heart and soul of the game—the fans.
Thousands of supporters have traveled from abroad and various parts of Kenya to stand in solidarity with their beloved home team, Shabana FC.
These passionate fans are not concerned about political affiliations or rivalries; they simply want to enjoy the game they love.
It is vital that politicians attending the match today do so as fans and not as political adversaries.
The presence of prominent figures in the stadium creates a charged atmosphere, and any confrontation between factions could quickly spiral out of control.
The fans deserve to witness an exciting game without being caught in the crossfire of political rivalries.
Governor Simba Arati’s absence due to his trip to China does not guarantee a peaceful atmosphere.
His supporters, who remain enthusiastic about the game, are expected to attend the match at Gusii Stadium. It is crucial that they demonstrate their commitment to the spirit of sportsmanship by refraining from engaging in any disruptive behavior.