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Mombasa branch shows there is strength in unity

Monday November 25 2019

AFC Leopards players celebrate their goal against Chemilil Sugar during their SportPesa Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on April 4, 2019.PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

AFC Leopards players celebrate their goal against Chemelil Sugar during their SportPesa Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on April 4, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

JOHN ASHIHUNDU
By JOHN ASHIHUNDU
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We need to appreciate Mombasa branch of AFC Leopards for hosting our team members when we played Bandari at Mbaraki Sports Club on Thursday. The match ended 2-2.

Apart from paying for the SGR return ticket, the branch catered for meals and accommodation for our team members.

As we urge other branches to follow suit to help Dan Shikanda’s team reduce its financial burden, it’s time to revive our sleeping branches especially in Western region where our beloved club draws mass support.

In the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, AFC Leopards branches were significantly active, powerful, more productive and even helped in the player’s recruitment.

Well-wishers would offer their vehicles to ferry the players to and from match venues, pay for accommodation and meals.

The late Kakamega High School physics teacher Chris Makokha spotted talented stars from Kakamega High School, Musingu High School, Mukumu Boys among other top footballing institutions to join the defunct Ministry of Works (MoW) before moving to AFC Leopards.

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The likes of Peter Lichungu, Dan Musuku, Mike Amwayi, Patrick Shilasi, Peter Ouma, Eratus Nandwa, Peter Zimbo, Dennis Munyendo, Regnald Asibwa, Mike Obonyo, Pius Masinza, Joseph Atitwa, James Aromba, Washington Muhanji, Ainea Isabwa, Tony Sejero all played for MoW before ending up at AFC Leopards, with the bulk of them being products of Kakamega High School.

The branches would warmly welcome the team in Mombasa and Kakamega, where a large number of fans bought tickets to attend Ingwe matches before poor results started making them shy away.

As we continue struggling to lure fans to attend our home matches at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, I see Bukhungu Stadium as the best alternative as Nyayo Stadium — our traditional home ground — remain closed for renovation.

But the county branch led by chairman Owen Musoma must be strong to convince the team to shift their league matches from Machakos to Kakamega to alleviate our players’ suffering.

Ingwe Nairobi based fans have repeatedly complained about the costs involved in travelling to Machakos, a reason that has denied the club revenue.

With the goal of unity, Ingwe followers under one banner, there is hope and we can achieve more that we could individually. Mombasa branch has demonstrated their power!

It’s not time for blame games and pointing fingers, but rather addressing the situation.

My humble appeal is everyone who values this great club should not turn away from the team.

I also call upon fans and like-minded politicians from Western region to join hands to save Ingwe from the current precarious financial situation to enable the players remain focused and on course for the 2019-2020 Kenyan Premier League crown.

This can only be realised through coming together and supporting the team in large members.

It is regrettable the current political leadership with roots from Western Kenya is not concerned with the current bad state of the team, when Ingwe is supposed to be our unifying factor.

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