Football

Mwendwa: FKF to hire foreign referees for Gor Mahia vs AFC Leopards derbies

The federation boss now says they will go for the services of foreign referees to handle contentious matches in the top-flight

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has plans to hire foreign referees for contentious matches in the Premier League including the derby involving Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

According to federation President Nick Mwendwa the move will help end contentious issues which arise from such matches involving the giants of Kenyan football.

Mwendwa further said they will also hire foreign referees to officiate in league matches especially when two or three teams are fighting for the title with few matches remaining to the end of the season.

“What we are saying, we have matches in the Premier League which are contentious and officiating of such matches always raises a lot of debate and sometime it tends to spoil the game,” Mwendwa told Goal on Thursday.

“One of the matches is the derby, and the other one is when we have a tight race for the title, if we have such a scenario where teams are fighting for the title, teams are separated by two or three points, then we will hire foreign referees to come oversee the league [games].

“We will get them from Uganda, Tanzania or even Rwanda, that is the idea, actually what we are looking at is to advance fairness in the eyes of everybody handling these especially the derby which always raises eyebrows.”

Asked whether Kenyan referees will not feel aggrieved by the move to hire foreign counterparts, Mwendwa said: “They will not feel aggrieved because most of them don’t want to officiate in such matches, we have just mooted the idea and we hope it will bring fairness especially during contentious matches.”

The new proposal will thus be introduced when AFC Leopards will host rivals Gor Mahia in the first derby of the 2020-21 FKF Premier League.

According to the fixtures, Ingwe will host K’Ogalo on March 6, 2021, at Nyayo Stadium before the second round duel is set for the same venue on May 23, 2021.

Last season, Gor Mahia won both encounters, beating Ingwe 4-1 in the first round match before edging them out by a solitary goal en-route to winning their fourth straight league title.

AFC Leopards are yet to beat Gor Mahia in their last seven matches with the best result against their rivals coming in the 1-1 draw of the 2017-18 season with Gor Mahia winning the second round fixture 1-0.

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