Real Kisumu do exist

We’ve been in Kisumu for a while and we’d heard that Kisumu had a team in Nationwide League One (the league below the Kenyan Premier League), that they played regularly games in Kisumu but we hadn’t seen a lot of concrete evidence.

Kenya’s newspapers give scant coverage to football that this not in one of the glamour leagues of Europe or the Kenyan Premier League. In such a football crazy country it seems a little odd. Scouring websites didn’t yield much about when and where games actually took place.

So we looked around, asked around, even visited Moi Stadium a few times to see what we could learn or because we’d heard whispers of a game happening. But we only found things that definitely weren’t football, like Christian Crusades or political rallys.

Finally, we managed to be at Moi Stadium on a day where Real Kisumu were playing at home. Although at first we thought we were out of luck again, when the gates of the stadium looked firmly closed. But then we noticed a small trickle of people entering via a wee little gate and decided that we should at least peak inside.

And yes, there actually was a game and even a decent, small crowd so we joined in. Moi Stadium itself is somewhat run down, the pitch is very uneven, the grass long in places, just bare mud in others and if the wind comes in from the wrong way, you get quite a whiff of the city’s rubbish dump next door.

But the game itself was entertaining; even with the pitch making things tough and with the game involving a lot of thumping and scrambling around the ball. Slowly the crowd got into the game, including a pretty annoying chap with a Vuvuzela.

Real Kisumu at first looked at little shaky as their opponents came at them. But then after a few very fortunate bounces they were 2-0 up and the opposition started looking stretched. By the end Kisumu ran out 4-0 winners, which is even more impressive as they hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed for offside.

Next year the city will finally start rehabilitating Moi Stadium and hopefully Real Kisumu can use this result to revitalize their Nationwide League One campaign and avoid relegation, so they can finally play in a somewhat decent facility. However, right now Real Kisumu are bottom of the league and staring relegation in the face.

But someone should also put a little more effort into promoting the team and its matches (along with the league as a whole) as people would come but they have to know when and where.

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