Outraged Kenyans want Esperance punished for harassing Gor
Disgruntled Kenyans went ballistic on social media, calling on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to come down hard on Esperance for the unsporting behavior exhibited during their Sunday’s Champions League clash against Gor Mahia.
The K’Ogalo fraternity complained of harsh environment the Tunisians subjected them to, in the second round preliminary return leg match which ended at 1-0 in favour of the hosts, in Tunis.
Having drawn 0-0 in the first leg played at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, escaping a beating from a dominant Gor, the Kenyan side needed at least a 1-1 draw to cruise through to the lucrative group stage.
But it was not to be.
Club legend Peter Dawo had warned prior to their travel that the Tunisians would employ dirty tactics and the latter remained true to this tradition harassing Gor contingent at the match venue.
In an interview with Citizen Digital, Dawo recalled how the Gor of 1987 that defeated Esperance to the African Winners Cup (Nelson Mandela Cup) faced a rough test in the hands of the Tunisians.
“Playing most of the North African teams is very tricky especially in their backyards. If you overcome them on the pitch they employ every dubious means to outdo you.
“It’s like to them, teams from East and South must bow to them…” Dawo, who scored in both legs of the historic 1987 victory against Esperance cautioned then.
Gor’s head coach Dylan Kerr posted on his official Twitter account: “That was a hell of a game today I watched. How these guys overpower and take dives, they must now play in Kenya and get the same treatment; they acted like bullies and then run to protect the officials who I thought had a good game for them.”
“Pole (sorry) to K’Ogalo my chairman and my hard-working players. Today I saw unreal things in football, but we never gave up. We lost the game because at Machakos we didn’t score, we battled even when two players were missing, one injured and the other mmmmmmm no comment. I tried, we tried,” the Malta-born Briton wrote.
However, it was a post on the official Esperance Twitter handle that evoked emotional feedback from irate Gor fans, who took to twitter to warn the Tunisians the reported events in Tunis will be revisited no matter which day the 2011 continental champions will visit Kenya.
“Some Gor Mahia’s players began making rude gestures towards Espérance’s bench, unnecessary provocation. Not fairplay…”
The reaction was, probably, unexpected to the Tunisians.
“Arabs and hooliganism are synonymous; expecting anything different could have been suicidal.
“What do you call fair play, your players are the most despicable characters in football, rolling over when opponent is nowhere near,” an angry fan replied.
Another one warned eternal rivalry had been officially marked.
“Avoid Kenya like plague. You may want to google how Kenyans do their revenge. This we must fulfil even if it’s done by our grandchildren. It’s like CAF was made for you…overrated for nothing, hooligans.”
“Note it somewhere even if it will be 2050 when you will come back to Kenya you will not like it. Hell awaits you too here in Kenya. You will one day come back and we will ‘forgive’ you. Revenge!”
The conversation went on with fans demanding action by CAF on Esperance.
“It will be a shame if CAF doesn’t take action. Football must say no to RACISM. Disgusting club!
“We gave you warm welcome in Kenya and yet you cannot protect our players,” decried a K’Ogalo faithful.
Another Kenyan tweeted: “What Gor Mahia players were subjected to in Rades (Tunisia) last evening amounts to an abuse of the cardinal rules that make the game of football what it is. Totally unacceptable in this era. CAF must act swiftly to safeguard the integrity of the game.”
Gor leadership has however not come clean on what measures they’ll take in light on the happenings.Should Gor fail to appeal within the stipulated time frame, they’ll be relegated to the second tier club competition, the Confederation Cup.
K’Ogalo will feature in the competition from an advanced stage of playoffs, as first and second rounds are done.
The draw for the playoffs round will be held on Wednesday, when Gor will know their opponents.
CR Belouizdad, CARA Brazzaville, CS La Mancha, Al-Masry, Deportivo Niefang, Welayta Dicha, Fosa Juniors, Djoliba Raja, RS Berkane, Costa do Sol Akwa, Enyimba, Supersport, Al-Hilal Obeid and USM Alger all qualified for the playoffs.