FA Cup final: Kenyan fans forced to watch action at home
Arsenal fans in a past match. [PHOTO: DAVID GICHURU, STANDARD]

Kenya boasts of a huge number of fans following the European football leagues, with the England’s Premier League and Uefa Champions League the most popular.

Every weekend across the country, fans throng pubs, restaurants and video joints to catch a glimpse of their favourite clubs playing.

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However, the joy and energy witnessed at these joints where fans in their favourite team jerseys jump up and down shouting will not be witnessed today when Arsenal take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley from 7.30pm.

This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta banned the sale of alcohol in all restaurants and ordered all bars closed indefinitely in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

And when the Standard Sports did a round up many fans were disappointed to be missing the opportunity to support their teams together with their friends.

David Mwaura, an Arsenal fan based in Eldoret said the energy of fans watching in a pub or restaurant is what makes the game even more interesting with the hype surrounding it.

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“Nothing matches watching a game with friends in a pub. The energy is wild and there is happiness everywhere despite the final result and we are going to miss that but we understand the global health threat and I guess home is the place to be,” Mwaura said.

In Kisumu, Silas Okello, an ardent Chelsea fan said he will be forced to watch the game online through his phone with the ban on bar affecting him since he doesn’t have PayTV.

“The ban on these joints affects not only me but a majority of Kenyans who don’t own DStv, GoTV or Startimes. I love football and even if it means parting away with Sh100 of data bundles I will do that to support my team,” he said.

In Mombasa, Fadya Ali, an Arsenal fan said she will watch the final with her family at home.

“Coronavirus is real and its time to stay home with family and friends. I support the president’s directive and I think it is time we made it enjoyable watching at home,” she said.


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