FKF cracks down on blatant officiating, sanctions KPL and NSL referees

An Ad Hoc Committee constituted by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to investigate on the recent blatant officiating calls that have been made in the KPL and NSL this season has on Tuesday 7 May rendered its verdict, imposing sanctions on four match officials as well as reprimanding one.

KPL center referees Hosea Omondi, Collins Opiyo and assistant referee Joshua Achilla as well as NSL official Nick Indieka have all been given match suspensions ranging from three to four matches.

Foul language

Indieka is said to have abused FKF Nairobi West Branch Officials during a recent Referees Seminar at Hope Center and as a result has been suspended for three second tier matches.

Achilla was reprimanded for two questionable decisions he made in the first-leg meetings between AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia in February and Ulinzi Stars and Sofapaka in April and has been given a three-match suspension.

On two occasions, your decisions on offside have changed the result of matches:

That, you made two crucial decisions which had an impact on the Gor Mahia FC vs AFC Leopards FC match played on Feb 9, 2019, at the Kasarani Stadium

That you denied Ulinzi Stars FC a goal through a wrong decision during the Sofapaka FC vs Ulinzi Stars FC match which changed the result of the match.

Having admitted to the above offense, you are hereby suspended immediately for three rounds of Kenya Premier League calendar matches – read part of the letter sent to Achilla, signed by FKF General Secretary Robert Muthomi.

Faulted

Another three-game suspension was dished out to Omondi who was faulted for not sending off Gor Mahia custodian Shaban Odhoji when he handled the ball outside of his jurisdiction in an April league encounter with Sony Sugar.

Gor won the game 3-2 with Sony seeing custodian Samuel Njau dismissed in the closing stages.

“During the Gor Mahia FC vs Sony Sugar FC played on April 3, 2019, in Kisumu, which you officiated as the Center Referee, you failed to send off Gor Mahia FC goalkeeper for denying a goal scoring opportunity by a deliberate handball outside the penalty area. The same offense by the opposing teammate got a send-off.

The FKF Ad Hoc Committee, which sat to deliberate on the above, noted inconsistency and lack of authority in officiating hence indirectly influencing the result of the match.  In this regard, effective immediately you are hereby suspended for a period not exceeding three rounds of the Kenya Premier League calendar of matches – the letter sent to Hosea read in part.

Opiyo on his part receives the heaviest suspension with four matches after he failed to appear before the committee after he was summoned to explain why he awarded a questionable penalty in the Sofapaka vs KCB second leg fixture played three weeks ago and that saw Bototo Ba Mungu claim a 1-0 win over the Bankers in Machakos.

After a thorough review of the incident in a video clip that resulted in a penalty, the Committee is convinced that your decision was questionable since it is the attacker who initiated contact after realizing that he had lost possession of the ball in the penalty area.

As a matter of fact, the attacker should have been cautioned for simulation and an indirect free kick awarded to the defending team.

You did not appear before the Committee when summoned for a hearing, this is, therefore, to inform you that you will be suspended with immediate effect for four rounds of KPL calendar.

Consideration will be advanced to you once you appear before the Ad-hoc Committee – the letter sent to Collins read in part.

Vindicated

The Committee also gave a last warning to WPL and NSL match official Joseph Nyaga for having absconded duty while centre referee Meshack Omondi was vindicated of any wrong doing after he awarded eight stoppage time minutes in Wazito FC’s NSL encounter with Shabana FC at the Camp Toyoyo in April.

The match was abandoned after the Shabana fans interrupted the game in the dying minutes protesting the added on minutes that had seen Wazito score to salvage a 1-1 draw. The match has since been awarded to Wazito.

“It was reported that during the Wazito FC vs Shabana FC match played in Camp Toyoyo on April 7, 2019, you extended added time by eight minutes without proper justification hence the visiting team abandoning the match.

In your response, you explained that the added time was because of two key incidents:

    1. Shabana Goalkeeper was injured during the game; it took four minutes to treat him in the field of play.
    2. There were six substitutions during the game, according to regulations; three minutes are in order as added time.
    3. Together with other stoppages of the ball in out of play, the added time was reasonable and the abandonment was not caused by the added time nor did the visiting team dispute the goal.

The FKF Ad Hoc Committee, which sat to deliberate on the above found that you were not at fault. Being a high-risk match, you applied match management techniques and had a high level of application of knowledge of the laws of the game.

All allegations against you are hereby dismissed – read part of the letter sent to Meshack.