eThe job is done and it’s time to celebrate.
Gor Mahia, for the fourth time in five years, are the Kenyan Premier League champions. The count down is down to hours now as they wait to lift a record 17th title.
The trophy itself is a 12-kg brass beast made of brass which was made by hand in Italy and stands a good 90cm tall and 60cm wide.
The gem arrived in Kenya on October 2015 having cost Shs1.5 million, and was unveiled in pomp and glamour as a replacement for the old silverware that was permanently committed to the K’Ogalo trophy cabinets due to their incredible feat of having won the top flight league in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“This one was hand-made from Italy. We decided to make it as elegant as possible so that any team that rightfully wins it will have something to feel proud of. It cost substantially more than what the old trophy did,” said former SportPesa marketing manager Kester Muhanji at the time.
The Moi Stadium in Kisumu will host this grand event this Sunday which will start immediately after K’Ogalo engage Mathare United in their second last league match of the season. The match kicks off at 2pm.
SportPesa Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri is set to do the actual handing over alongside opposition leader Raila Odinga who is also the club’s patron.
The success of the coronation ceremony will be highly dependent on the security and discipline of the fans, as a similar event failed to take off in 2014 and 2013 due to pitch invasion by overzealous fans.
“Security is very crucial in our plans because we are working with a small stadium yet we expect a huge turnout but if the fans behave themselves then it will be a good day for everyone,” KPL fixtures and competitions manager Michael Kirwa said on Friday.
Gor have lost their last three league games to bottom-placed Thika United, Ulinzi Stars and Vihiga United but this has had no consequence on their championship status as they secured the title last month with six matches left.
“Kisumu is ready to celebrate, but if I can ask something from the players, it is for them to at least win this one match. Three consecutive losses doesn’t look good on a champion,” Gor Mahia fan Benta Okelo posted on her Facebook page on Saturday.
It remains to be seen whether the champions will snap their losing streak against the Slum Boys who beat them home and away last season. The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw.
Gate charges have been fixed at Shs500 and Shs200 for the main stand and terraces respectively. Sale of tickets will start at 7am within the stadium.
Gor Mahia v Mathare United (Machakos Stadium, 2 pm)
Nzoia Sugar v Tusker (Sudi Stadium, 3pm)
Posta Rangers v Sony Sugar (Ruaraka Grounds, 3pm)
Sofapaka v Nakumatt (Narok Stadium, 3pm)
Thika United v Zoo Kericho (Thika Stadium, 3pm)
Ulinzi Stars v AFC Leopards (Afraha Stadium, 3pm)
Vihiga United v Kariobangi Sharks (Mumias Complex, 3pm)
Wazito v Bandari (Camp Toyoyo, 4.15pm)
Chemelil Sugar v Kakamega Homeboyz (Chemelil Complex, 3pm)