NAIROBI, Kenya, October 20 – The officiating madness as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season winds down continued Sunday night when the match between Tusker FC and Muhoroni Youth was abandoned after the latter accused the former of fielding 12, yes 12 players.
After ten minutes of handbags, the game played under floodlights at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani was finally called off on 77 minutes in yet another day of shame for match officials who took ineptitude to staggering heights.
Center referee Andrew Juma was forced to call-off the match that the Brewers were leading 2-1, after Muhoroni players protested over Tusker’s ‘extra man.’
The confusion arose when Tusker head coach Francis Kimanzi was preparing to bring on Dennis Nzomo for second goal scorer Clifford Alwanga only for both of them to be spotted on the pitch by Muhoroni skipper Abbas Akinyemi who notified Juma.
It then degenerated into a farce for ten minutes before the match was finally aborted.
Brian Osumba sent Tusker ahead in the 35th minute after substitute Andrew Tololwa set him up as his shot rose past keeper Allan Owiny to the roof of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
Alwanga doubled the lead just upon resumption with Osumba turning the provider for the new Harambee Stars new call-up to loop over Owiny before Ezekiel Otwoma pulled one back in the 64th.
The win could have seen Tusker trim second placed Sofapaka’s gap to two but now they will have to wait on KPL’s decision on the match in yet another unwelcome twist to the domestic title race that seems headed once again to the boardroom.
Fourth official, Badr Yassin, inexplicably failed to spot Alwanga had not left the field as Nzomo went on sparking the fracas, in what will cause another storm about officiating with three games to go.
“This is shocking and we shall look at the Referees’ and Match Commissioners’ reports tomorrow (Tuesday) to see the way forward. If we can’t resolve the matter internally, we shall take it to the committee to decide.
“Some of these mistakes are school boy blunders,” KPL CEO, Jack Oguda, told Capital Sport on Monday.
“It is the duty of the Fourth Official to ensure the player substituted leaves the field of play for the one coming in. We followed the procedure as required by the law and the 12 players did not even get to play but the game was abandoned.
“We just have to wait for the decision KPL will make but it is frustrating to have officials spoiling games we have prepared hard for,” Tusker FC coach, Francis Kimanzi added.
Earlier at the same venue, KCB failed to open a seven point gap from the relegation zone after succumbing 2-1 to high flying Chemelil Sugar.
After a first-half barren draw, Hamisi Mwinyi made a brilliant turn to shoot past keeper Zachary Onyango to break the deadlock in the 55th before Raymond Murugi restored parity in the 84th with a well executed thunderbolt.
The hero of the day was former Mathare United forward Meshack Karani who maximized Onyango’s blunder of coming off his line to loop the ball over the keeper for the winner for his third since joining the Sugar Millers .
Chemelil remained fifth on 44 points, same as Ulinzi Stars who are above them with a superior goal difference while the Bankers are 14th on 24 points, four above the drop zone.