Why Raila's Absence at Vienna Was Good for Kipchoge -Netizens

  • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. A section of Kenyans have often been against him attending sports events for fear of defeat. File
  • Kenya like any other country is not short of superstitious people. The phenomenon of bad luck is still much to this day taken seriously by many.

    For several years, there have been claims that either Gor Mahia or Harambee Stars often lose whenever former Prime Minister Raila Odinga attended their games.

    Suppose the allegations were true, then on Saturday, October 12, 2019, was a day many Kenyans were happy "baba" was not in Vienna as Eliud Kipchoge made history. Maybe his presence would have robbed Kenya of that moment.

    Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finishing line in Vienna, Austria. He beat the INEOS 1:59 challenge to become the first man to run the 42 KM under two hours.
    Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finishing line in Vienna, Austria. He beat the INEOS 1:59 Challenge to become the first man to run 42km under two hours.

    Before the material day, a section of Kenyans thought that if Odinga publicly supported Kipchoge, something bad would have happened. 

    "Why would he wish Kipchoge well? Couldn't he wait until when he makes history to congratulate him?," Patrick Kipkirui questioned. 

    "What would you have thought if Raila visited Kipchoge ahead of the 1:59 challenge?" wondered Benzynoh.

    "Dear guys, nobody should tell Raila that Kipchoge will be running," suggested Muthenya.

    In the last six years, Raila has attended over 20 matches and in many instances, the team he supported lost. 

    1. Gor Mahia vs Hull City

    In 2018, the Sportpesa Cup featured Kenyan champions Gor Mahia and English side Hull City at Kasarani Stadium. Kenyans packed the 60,000 capacity stadium to witness the historic moment, among them the former prime minister.

    The match ended in a draw in regular time but Hull City went on to win on penalties.

    Kenyans wasted no time pointing fingers at the opposition chief, claiming that he was to blame.

    2. Gor Mahia vs Everton

    Gor Mahia alias K’ogalo faced Everton in the Sportpesa Cup in Tanzania in 2018. At the time, the English side boasted top names like Wayne Rooney.

    Raila, eager not to miss the match travelled to Tanzania to cheer Gor Mahia to the title. However, Gor lost to Everton by two goals to one.

    3. Arsenal vs Middlesborough 

    Odinga was among the thousands of fans who filled the Emirates Stadium, London in October 2016, to watch his favourite EPL side, Arsenal play.

    His attendance was much publicised and according to bookies, Arsenal was tipped to emerge victorious. The match ended in a barren draw. Critics were at it again, citing the former premier's presence as one of the reasons.

    4. Uganda vs Kenya 

    On Saturday, October 8, 2011, Uganda Cranes hosted Harambee Stars for the 2012 AFCON qualifiers. Raila flew to Entebbe to watch the match, after issuing a rallying call to Kenyan players to put their best foot forward.

    The match ended 0-0. Both teams failed to qualify for the tournament as Angola.

    However, there are instances where Raila attended matches and his favourite teams went on to win.

    The most recent was when he attended Kenya vs Ghana at Kasarani Stadium. Kenya needed to win to qualify for the 2019 AFCON, and Raila’s presence was a catalyst.

    Harambee Stars won 1-0 against Ghanaian Black Stars, despite being reduced to 10 men 60 minutes into the game.

    In June 2019, Kenyans on Twitter were not happy when Raila visited Harambee Stars in Cairo, Egypt prior to their AFCON campaign, terming it a bad omen.

    Former premier Raila Odinga visited the Harambe Stars in Egypt in June 2019 during the African cup of nations
    Former premier Raila Odinga visited the Harambe Stars in Egypt in June 2019 during the African Cup of Nations tournament. 

    “Nooooooo we are going to lose all our games now!!!!”Mike, a Twitter user reacted to the news.

    Kenyans reacted to Harambee stars' performance after visit from Raila Odinga.
    Kenyans reacted to Harambee Star's performance after a visit by Raila Odinga.

    Josiah Mutai tweeted, "Teams Raila visits end up losing." ‏Another user, Franklin Aleper added "I hate when Raila Odinga supports any club. Hii ni loss tu (That's an automatic loss)."

    "Harambee stars has never won whenever Raila shook hands with players, it is very unfortunate that Harambee Stars journey to the round of 16 has ended abruptly. Back to you in studio," one Hillary Wafula commented.