|GISHINGA GOT IT ALL WRONG|
|Tuesday, 14 February 2012 14:05|
On 8th February 2012 the Managing Editor of the Kenyan Premier League’s official website Gishinga Njoroge wrote a preseason article titled “Gor Mahia’s quest for record 14th national title starts at Thika on Sunday “ in which he attempted to settle the ever exiting debate of who is supreme between Kenya’s two giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.
Writing from an authoritative position, the good editor was asserting that Gor Mahia have lifted the league title for a record 13 times followed by AFC Leopards’ 11 titles. To back his claims Gishinga even listed the league winners and the years since the competition was inaugurated in 1963. Very audacious!
While I admire his guts, I fault his stats. Now this underlines the problem sports writers go through in this country in an attempt to get past information regarding the game. If you don’t have memories as sharp as those of veteran journalist Hezekiah Wephukulu then you are out of this business, in a country that lacks a central sports archive.
Like sheep we follow the leader who- by the way- is not looking at the path and should that leader trip up there’ll be a pileup. The same week another well informed Kenyan Fred Maingi, writing for a well informed website-Supersport.com, wrote that Gor will be looking for their 14th league title in 2012. Fred must have read Gishinga’s article. When Supersport9 commentator Arnold Kanyangonda made the same gaffe on Saturday 11th Tusker-City Stars encounter I smiled in disbelief. If Maingi and Kanyangonda were all reading from Gishinga’s script then we can’t dismiss them because their source was KPL’s official site. But they didn’t attribute so they remain culpable.
Reading Gishinga’s article I tend to think he was quoting Kenyapage.net, a website jam-packed with sports errors. Still, Gishinga didn’t attribute his source so liability rests with him.
Kenyapage.net records that Gor Mahia has lifted the trophy 13 times since its inception followed by Ingwe’s 11. The error has been the inclusion of 1980 title as Gor’s. The truth is that the 1980 title was won by a team called Abaluhya United FC- a team that was to change to AFC Leopards in November of the same year following a govt. directive that clubs with tribal names should assume a national outlook.
In fact, Abaluhya garnered a total of 38 points while second came Gor Mahia with 32. But some football pundits have argued that given that it’s Abaluhya-and not AFC-that won that title, it shouldn’t be credited to Ingwe. If such thinking can prevail then AFC lifted their first title in 1981 making their total league accolades to be a miserable seven titles.
But such is not my concern today. The 1980 title- which my three friends above erroneously credited to Gor- belongs to Abaluhya United FC. So why should people believe me and not Gishinga Njoroge the KPL official website editor? I know it because I talk to some very informed football lovers in this country. Further, in the 1981 African Champions’ League, a competition for league winners only, Kenya was represented by AFC Leopards.
Actually the AFC Leopards’ representation of Kenya in the 1981 Champions League rubbishes the separation of AFC from Abaluhya United. Now that means Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have won the league title 12 times apiece. Logical?