•In the Gor Mahia match against Wazito a seemingly legitimate goal scored by Lawrence Juma in their 1-0 win in Machakos on Saturday was disallowed to the consternation of all and sundry
•There were complaints also in the match pitting Mathare United against KCB which ended in a 1-1 draw at Kasarani
The standards of officiating in the Kenyan Premier League have been put under the spotlight following last weekend's matches.
In the Gor Mahia match against Wazito, a seemingly legitimate goal scored by Lawrence Juma in their 1-0 win in Machakos on Saturday was disallowed to the consternation of all and sundry.
There were complaints also in the match pitting Mathare United against KCB which ended in a 1-1 draw at Kasarani. Mathare coach Salim Ali in his assessment after the stalemate took issue with the day’s officiating particularly the awarding of a spot-kick from which the bankers got their leveller .
“The penalty should not have stood because it was not a handball on our player. The centre referee made a mistake and this is not the first time that he has done something like this against this team," Ali lamented on Mathare's portal.
“Officiating has been a concern in the KPL for far too long now. It is high time the authorities cracked down on this. It is demoralising to say the least because you cannot prepare for a game and then get undone by the officiating,” he asserted.
KPL CEO Jack Oguda revealed they were not in charge of the appointment of match officials as the mandate fell on the Football Kenya Federation. However, they usually forward any complaints emanating from KPL clubs to the federation.
"It is the prerogative of the federation to ascertain whether complaints are legitimate or not and there are instances when they have taken action against officials but probably they do not make such decisions public," said Oguda.
Sylvester Kirwa, who is in charge of referees at the federation, revealed that they have previously taken action against match officials found culpable of mistakes which attracted various punitive measures.
Kirwa outlined the procedure which can either lead to action being taken against an official or for a complaint to be dismissed.
"When we receive a complaint, we first seek the footage of the particular incident and then in the ad hoc committee on referees, we decide whether an official has a case to answer. If so, the chairman of the referees committee (Anthony Makau) summons the concerned party to explain himself before relevant action is taken," he explained.
Kirwa said depending on the severity of the mistake (changes the outcome) punishment can range from a weeks suspension or suspension for the rest of the campaign or in serious cases demotion to a lower league.