Let the club handle the issue of officiating

Gor Mahia have raised the red flag with regard to poor officiating in the Kenya premier league. Club official Ronald Ngala says there is too much poor officiating and nothing is being done about it.

“This issue of poor officiating is becoming too much now and it is being caused by unqualified referees. Every time we complain no one lends an ear to our complains,” Ngala told goal.com on Monday.

Ngala also took issue with the fact that four out of seven of the club’s matches have been officiated by one referee.

“We also take issue with the fact that in our seven matches, four of them have been handled by one referee. This clearly shows that there is a big problem.”

An FKF official confirmed that they have indeed received complaints from several clubs.

We have received a letter from Tusker and understand that several clubs are not happy with officiating in Kenyan Premier League.

“One thing is for sure; all referees in KPL are not qualified because they are either retired or those who have not undergone PET test. We will have to look at the issue if we get more clubs complaining to us.”

The official further went on to say that another test will not be conducted until June.

The League’s reputation is at stake

According to the Daily Nation,none of the 16 centre referees, 24 assistant referees and 16 match commissioners drafted to officiate in this season’s league matches are accredited by Fifa.

In contrast, Kenyan referees who are sanctioned by Fifa continue presiding over matches in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League.

The head of FKF’s Technical Committee, Elly Mukolwe, on Monday confirmed that none of the match officials under the KPL roster has undergone the mandatory tests required of top flight league referees, which is a violation of the Fifa statutes.

“They know the truth. I can say without fear that many of those referees have been brought back from retirement. Some failed even the local Member Association fitness test,” he said.

Both Gor Mahia and Sofapaka had reason to be disgruntled.

Poor officiating is a stain on the league’s reputation. If the league is perceived as poorly officiated, the resultant public relations stain can affect public interest, sponsorships and attendance. But even more importantly, the league aficionados should understand that football is an emotional sport and poor officiating can lead to crowd trouble. And this is not unique to Kenya.

And the club officials are best placed to handle this issue. Ambrose Rachier is after all the current KPL chairman. Officials of all clubs have a direct say in how KPL is run and can petition FKF for better referees.

But the club’s reputation is also at stake

It appears that many fans have still not learned from the travails that the club has gone through over the past year. Club officials have gone from one corporate to another seeking sponsorship to no avail. One of the key reasons the club cannot garner sponsorship is precisely due to crowd trouble both inside and outside the stadium.

What is worse is that this time, the people who tossed foreign objects into the field were fans in the main stand and not fans in Russia. You would typically not expect this kind of behaviour from fans who sit at the main stand. These are the fans who should understand the club’s precarious situation.

There are literally hundreds or thousands of the club’s enemies who cannot wait for slightest sign of crowd trouble to flock to social media to besmirch the club. Some of this politically and/or tribally motivated. These kind of people were actually disappointed when the recent mashemeji derby came and went without incident.

The fact that Mathare United recently penned a ksh 75 million sponsorship deal despite not having a fan base and despite not having the history or pedigree of Gor Mahia should have made it obvious to fans now. Mathare got the sponsorship with very little effort because they have an excellent reputation. Media reports suggest that it was Britam who came seeking a partner. Under normal circumstances, companies would be lining up to sponsor Gor Mahia.

Aside from sponsorship, the club could face the real prospect of being punished by losing point or having to play in an empty stadium, something that the club cannot currently afford. There is also the possibility of sanctions from CAF or FIFA.

It is understandable that fans would be unhappy with poor refereeing. Football is after all a sport that can engender all kinds of emotions. But given the club’s current situation, fans ought to know better.


19 thoughts on “Let the club handle the issue of officiating

  1. good piece of advice, but the question is, will they learn???? over n over again they keep on driving potential sponsors away. I simply don’t understand how these bunch of fools should be tamed

  2. the truth is there are no fans but hooligans “spoilers” in kogallo, they dont pay and if they do its thro’ fake tickets to watch gor matches and when gor loose they throw stones when they win they misbehave in the streets …l dont understant these pple.surely who would want to sponsor such a team -poleni sana.

  3. From the behavior of our fans we should be ready for another sponsor-less year. All the same the officiating has been poor though even with the fkf refs the situation is the same. The only difference is that the KPL is much more competitive than the FKF league and as such these issues easily come up.

  4. useless debate if you ask me…..are we just being cynical because its gor mahia and the ‘big clubs’ at hand? What if it was Nakuru All Stars (no disrespect )…

    Poor officiating and shortage of good referees is all over the world and FIFA is aware of the problem …….goal line technology has been adopted, goal line assistant referee has been adopted in some countries, UEFA qualified referees can referee any match involving countries within UEFA e.t.c.e.t.c …..so let us not just complain for the sake of it but rather propose improvement ….for me I don’t see why FKF/KFF cannot be hire East African coaches, if we can bring in players from east Africa, why cant we bring in coaches as well , do we have CECAFA body !!!!!!!!

  5. The biggest problem in Kenya is reluctance to identify unruly fans. This should be one measure to identify, isolate and possibly incarcerate these hooligans. They r a wound which if left will fester n drive fans away.

    1. hooliganism is an age old problem…we have talked about it from time immemorial.why nothing has been done to arrest this vice is a mystery to all of us!!!

  6. i think all the officiating personel should be sent packing at the right time and a new face to be put there . those who wnt joke around with fans, investors and player’s feelings with dumb officiating. when the league ends this should be something that is done and on a regular basis. We are heading to a very top flight type of league and i wouldnt want poor officiating to drag us down. Blessed Mighty Kogalloh

  7. And this time it was the self-righteous VIP section. Or did the ‘human waste’ cross from Russia due to the ‘threatening rains’?

  8. Gor was on the right track to tame hooligans at the entrance. There was this guy who through the loud speaker was sensitizing on the importance to pay. And also the buffer zone that was created at least these thugs away for sometimes. They should do the same in the next game and let the police be with them in keeping guard through out the match without relenting I think it was a very practical way of handling this menace. With this vigilance fake tickets will easily be picked out.

    1. I join all the bloggers to condemn hooliganisms. However, let us all look at the root cause and I can tell you substandard officiating is one of the reason why aggrieved fans will have reasons to vent their anger. As much as we continue to condemn our fans, let us all look at the possible causes and address all the causes. This will be one of the ways of sensitizing our fans on good moral behaviour both during and after the matches. Our fans sometimes feel frustrated by the action of match officials. The following are some of the causes of hooliganisms:-
      1. Poor officiating
      2. Use of illicit drug and bhangi
      3. Drunkardness of fans in the stadium.
      4. Always unruly fans all the times
      5. Incitements by section of fans
      6. Lack of public awareness and knowledge that this is football matches where there is either a winner, loser or neutral
      7. Lack of affirmative action by football administrators and club officials

      There are some of the issues that need to be addressed for our fans to enjoy our matches.

  9. We will Never grow as gormahia if hooliganism is the only thing a section of our fans think of whenever a decision/outcome goes against us..i really really loathe this kind of behaviour and hooligans perpetrating it, u would think they are the ones who love gor more than the others but a matter of fact they are the enemies within..just a thought.

    1. @ Waziri you have hit the nail on the head. I concur fully. His voice and authority is needed to guide the ship. He has people’s ears.

      1. Guys, Jakom has severally talked about this thing. How much does he need to talk. I think the onus is now on us to bring this thing to an end. How can a handful of fans (in fact they are always less than 50 or 20 spoil our reputation as we watch?

  10. I thought we had it under check ? Officiating is very hard in matches so spare the officials , even the most qualified , experienced refs make mistakes complain to kpl , berate the ref in blogs that’s better or more so done satiric graphics

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