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Omollo and Juma: KPL demand for clubs to pay referees was wrong

14:16 GMT+4 27/01/2020
Wazito FC players vs Posta Rangers.
The duo has criticised the move saying it has badly affected the level of refereeing in the country

Posta Rangers coach Sammy Omollo and AFC Leopards Football Operations manager Tom Juma have shared their thoughts on officiating in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).

Omollo and Juma agree officiating in the league was negatively affected when KPL required clubs to pay match officials. On Sunday, Wazito head coach Stewart Hall castigated the centre referee for what he called an 'absolute kind of refereeing' after they were beaten 3-0 by Posta Rangers.

“Officiating has been very poor more especially when we started paying the referees. This is something that should be done away with completely. Let me tell you if my opponents and I are paying the referee then one can pay more money in order to get favours from the same official,” Omollo told Goal.

“Then, naturally, the referee will be inclined to favour one team. This is something I have witnessed going on especially in games which involve Posta Rangers. I am speaking about Posta Rangers because I cannot speak about others.

“Against Kariobangi Sharks, we were denied a very open penalty then came our game against KCB, which I feel we were not supposed to suffer two red cards.

“The moment we started paying referees, that is when things started going south and I am worried about that.”

Against Kariobangi Sharks, Posta Rangers drew 3-3 but lost to KCB 5-1 where they suffered two red cards and conceded two penalties. Dinken Mwema and Charles Odette were Rangers' players who were sent off then and the decision was questioned by Omollo.

Juma echoed Omollo's sentiments on the decision to force clubs to pay the match officials.

“You cannot imagine the KPL is so broke to the point of telling clubs to pay referees and this shows how low we have sunk. Officiating is hugely affected by this move because you can find one club paying the referee double the amount needed and the question is; what will the broke clubs do?” Juma asked in an interview with Goal.

“You can find a referee from Mombasa who is required to officiate a game in Nairobi and in that instance, he may be tempted to ask the club to pay for his fare too.

“Do you think the official will not favour the team for settling his travelling cost?”

In his post-match comments, Hall registered displeasure with the centre-referee who oversaw the Posta Rangers against Wazito Sunday clash.

“How can anyone justify that penalty? That was an absolute joke! Even Posta Rangers' bench could not believe it and the fourth official was visibly embarrassed at the decision,” Hall stated on Sunday.

“That was an absolute disgrace. I am sorry to have to talk about the referee but that was a horrific refereeing performance.

“It was terrible.”

KPL will resume on February 29 for matchday 19 action.