Fans turn against Shabana officials for NSL mess


Shabana FC players in training. PHOTO/Charles Onsakia
Shabana FC players in training. PHOTO/Charles Onsakia

Fans have turned into the management of National Super League (NSL) side Shabana FC blaming officials for the mess that has seen the fallen top flight giants flirt with expulsion from the second-tier.

Shabana moved from the foot of the table for the first time since being re-admitted to the competition after holding Zoo Kericho to a barren draw over the weekend and are now only three points behind FC Talanta with two games in hand as Ligi Ndogo slumped to the bottom.

Last week, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) spared them the axe from the NSL after ruling their aborted game against Police FC was not a walkover after failing to turn up for their away clash with league leaders, Nakumatt FC on June 24.

“Shabana is a good team. Has good players and well organized fans. what we lack is proper administration that can take the team to a different better level.

“We are ready to support the team, but management cannot organise simple things like membership cards,”Gusii branch chairman Bonface Ntabo, complained.

It took the action of supporters for Shabana to take to the pitch against Zoo with vice-chairman, Nyandoro Kambi paying for transport as Kericho Branch chair, Steven Onyanja catered for meals.

Other supporters chipped in and contributed money that saw the players paid an allowance of Ksh500 each, which is a pittance for a club with such a rich tradition.

 

The team boasts of over 14,000 fans on Facebook alone with no one able to mobilise the huge fan base to facilitate the team.

Meanwhile, their appeal to FKF to lift the one-year ban on their midfielder Samuel Otieno, hit a snag after the club failed to raise the Ksh100,000 fee required to lodge the case.

 

Otieno, was suspended after investigations confirmed the player had assaulted the referee during their NSL clash against Modern Coast Ranger FC in mid-June.

Speaking to Citizen digital, Organizing Secretary, Stephen Kiama, expressed confidence his cash-strapped boys will prevail over St. Joseph’s FC at home on Wednesday at their adopted Awendo Green Stadium.

“If all matches in this league were officiated with professionals like this one the NSL would be the best league in the world. We anticipate our next match against St. Joseph at home shall be nothing close to this,” Kiama said after leaving Kericho with a point.

The clash against Zoo was momentarily stopped in the 20th minute when the home fans protested against a foul awarded against their side and started hurling objects to the field before action resumed.

Following the barren stalemate, Zoo failed to make ground on leaders Nakumatt, remaining third on 37 points, five adrift of the top while Shabana inched to seven, ahead of Ligi Ndogo on goal difference.

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Story By Edwin Musalia
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