Foreign referees for Gor vs Ingwe ties

Thursday, December 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Referee Caroline Wanjala sends off Sofapaka FC goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya during their Premier League match against Gor Mahia FC at Narok stadium on August 22, 2018. Gor Mahia FC won the match 3-0. Photo/PD/SPORTPICHA

Edwin Otieno

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will hire the services of foreign match officials to preside  over the Mashemeji derbies and league-deciding duels to ensure fairness.

FKF president Nick Mwendwa divulged to People Sport, saying that the stakes during the derby are always high and the pressure may be too much for local referees and in turn may lead to unfair decision makings.

The development comes on the backdrop of glaring mistakes made by Fifa referee Israel Mpaima during a Match Day two league fixture between AFC Leopards and league debutants Bidco United, where Bidco’s Stephen Waruru was clearly brought down inside Leopards box, but instead of awarding the league’s new boys a penalty, the referee waved play on.

Had Bidco been awarded the penalty and converted it, they could have taken a deserved lead in a match they had created a glut of chances, but AFC Leopards eventually emerged the winners after netting goals against the run of play.

The referee is currently being investigated by the league’s and competition committee.

“All derbies pitting Gor and AFC Leopards will in future be officiated by foreign coaches.

We need totally neutral officials with high credentials and experience for big matches, who can also not be intimidated by fans of the two teams,” Mwendwa said.

He added: “We will also seek the services of foreign match officials to officiate crucial matches, incase the league goes to the wire, where two or three teams stand a chance to win the league or in relegation deciding matches.”

Meanwhile, the federation has replaced former premier league side Ushuru FC with Mully Children’s Home (MCH) in the Betika National Super League after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) side officially folded.

“We regrettably wish to inform you that Ushuru FC shall not be participarting in the Betika National Super League 2020/2021 season, having failed to register players for the season.

As a result, the FKF Leagues and Competitions Committee has decided to promote MCH FC, who are losers in the Div One Play Off to the second tier,” FKF fixtures secretary Frank ogolla said.

MCH had won their Division One zone, but lost the second tier promotion play-offs against South Rift side Soy United through post match penalties in early November.

The children’s home that is keen to play in the top tier football in the next two years now has a second chance, thanks to Ushuru’s tribulations.

More on Sports