Fist-fights dominate rugby matches as referees keep away

With the current standstill between the Kenya Rugby Referee Society and their employers Kenya Rugby Union far from over, tacticians and team managers have been forced to officiate the ongoing Kenya Cup, championship, and nationwide matches.

In the Kenya Cup, for instance, KCB strength and conditioning coach Mike Shamia quit officiating the game between the former and Nondescripts at the Ruaraka grounds at the weekend over what he termed as “poor coordination and vulgar language” from the visiting side.

After walking away in protest, Kenya under-19 head coach Paul Odera was forced to step- in to forestall a crisis.

Recently, during round seven of Kenya Cup, Shujaa speedster Collins Injera had to officiate a match involving his club and KCB, but without an assistant.This led to murmurs amidst accusation of favouring his club.

In the recent Ngong Road derby, Kenya Harlequins, by virtue of being the home side, were tasked with getting referees for the game but the visiting Impala Saracens were not pleased by the calls made by volunteer official David Orato, with the gaming degenerating into fist-fights.

Mwamba RFC players react after their loss to Impala RFC during their Kenya Cup match at the Railway Club in Nairobi, Kenya on December 12,2015. Impala RFC won 41-27. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

In the nationwide league, the script is even more crooked as rules are made on the playing field!

Take the case of Thika RFC and Karatina for example. Three referees, one game!

In fact, this match was not only marred by drama but acts of hooliganism too as the players not only beat up the referee but also fought amongst themselves, forcing the match to be called off.

During the Stingerz RFC versus KCA  Sparxx, played at the KCA University grounds, trouble also reared its ugly head as KCA’s Elias Makori had to be carried away after he picked a fight injuring an opposing player, a mister Obonyo

But that is not all, as after the game, the blood smelling Makori, with the help of his team-mates, violently chased away Stingers players from the pitch.

Kenya's Collins Injera carries the ball during the USA Sevens Rugby tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium on March 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken/Getty Images/AFP Isaac Brekken / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

What followed thereafter was akin to a movie script as Stingers players ran helter-skelter for dear lives, even before the game ended. By the time the match was abandoned, Stingers were leading7-3.

But even as the game once tipped as the “best run’ in the country, “played by gentlemen” sinks to an all-time low, thanks to the failure by KRU to pay the referees their staggered dues, the union bosses have kept a studious silence on the matter raising the question on the next course of action.

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