•Mathare United head coach Salim Ali is the latest among the growing list of disgruntled local tacticians who have come out strongly to express reservations about the credentials of local referees.
•FKF referees' manager Silvester Kirwa, however, insists the federation has established elaborate mechanisms to arrest such situations by embarking on a full scale search for individuals who are likely to bring the game into disrepute.
Match officials have a lot to offer to set and maintain high ethical standards in the best interests of football.
Unfortunately, numerous complaints that merely serve to blot the quality of refereeing in the country's top tier have surfaced.
Local match officials, although purportedly well trained, have come under a hail of bullets for committing glaring howlers on the pitch.
Instances abound of officials who botch up their jobs after allegedly receiving kickbacks from interested parties.
Mathare United head coach Salim Ali is the latest among the growing list of disgruntled local tacticians who have lividly emerged from the dugout to hit out at local referees.
"There is no consistency in the way the matches are handled. How the officials treat one side is completely different from how they treat the other," said Ali.
Ali hangs a question mark over a penalty which he says was erroneously awarded in their league encounter against Tusker.
The brewers had a penalty after 17 minutes when David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng was adjudged to have brought down Boniface Muchiri inside the box.
Although Henry Meja's attempt eventually bounced off the woodwork, Ali is adamant the centre referee played to the gallery.
"It is the second time we have been caught up in the thick of things this season. We suffered the injustice of poor officiating during our match against Gor Mahia," added Ali.
Interestingly, opinion is varied with Sofapaka skipper Elly Asieche almost handing local referees a clean bill of health.
"I'm yet to see a trend where we can now start blaming referees for officiating dismally. They've done their job quite well save for one occasion in our match where their performance was average," said Asieche.
Football Kenya Federation referees' manager Silvester Kirwa, however, insists the federation has established elaborate mechanisms to arrest such situations by embarking on a full scale search for individuals who are likely to bring the game into disrepute.
He goes on to appeal to teams that feel shortchanged by match officials to channel their grievances to the federation for the necessary disciplinary actions.
"Teams should feel free to furnish us with video clips capturing the scenes in question so that we can take necessary action against any officials found culpable of compromising standards," said Kirwa.
Bad decisions have instigated mayhem at the stadiums, occasioning wanton destruction of property and sometimes even claiming casualties in the wake of heated protests.
The country can no longer afford to be held hostage by unscrupulous and self seeking match officials who take to the pitch to push their own vested interests.
We need honest individuals who can be trusted with the whistle.
Football should produce top performers purely on merit. It's the only way we can compete effectively with the creme de la crème of the world.
Imposing victors through the back door will merely lead to major defeats and subsequent disappointments when we come up against real winners on the international stage.