Some years ago, we gnawed our teeth at the suffering of Shabana football club.
They were in the Kenya Premier League and were struggling financially. This club was formed in 1980 by businessman Dogo Khan who steered it to the highest levels of Kenyan football.
With their successes at that level, politicians wormed their slimy selves into it and took it over just to gain popularity and get elected into the parliament.
After they achieved their goals, they forgot all about the club and its fortunes began dwindling.
Two seasons ago, the team was a pale shadow of its former self and could not even afford to travel to honour their away fixtures. They couldn’t even afford to travel to Awendo town - just forty five kilometres away - to play Sony Sugar FC.
It was very shameful for a team that had been one of the top football teams in the country!
The result was that they were relegated and now play in the lower divisions. The same thing seems to be happening to the resilient Vihiga United Football club. The Vihiga county government that has been sponsoring the club threatened last month to stop funding the club for reasons that are rather provincial and childish.
The county sports department officials were put under pressure and gave funds at the last minute to finance only five matches.
The past weekend, the team was again stranded at Majengo market - a market! - since they could not afford to travel to Machakos to honour their away match against KCB. The tired players were threatening to go back home after these unending tribulations. Well, they appealed to well-wishers including politicians to enable them to travel to Machakos. The Vihiga Governor was silent as usual silent and couldn’t be reached even through fire and smoke signals.
He is a contented man and such trifles don’t bother him.
In the end, we know not what abracadabra the team pulled but they managed to travel very late in the day.
The very tired players reached their destination at 4am for the match that had been slated for afternoon. They had no time at all to rest and refresh themselves in readiness for the match.
We know not whether they could even afford some hotel rooms but in the end the came into the pitch in the afternoon.
The funny thing is that in spite of it all, they held KCB to a one all draw and could have even won the match!
The resilience of this team shows just how good they can be if they had financial support.
We are afraid that if the situation goes on like this, it shall end in relegation which is a very sad state of affairs. We do not want another team to suffer the way Shabana did and those county people in Vihiga should be more appreciative of what the team does for that county!
We leave the last word to the Vihiga united coach: “we would’ve picked all the points had we travelled in time to rest enough for this match, we arrived at 4am but I am happy the boys fought hard for an away point.”
Spare a thought for Vihiga United today!