Kenyan Premier League referees are facing increased criticism from coaches of clubs in the league over their alleged involvement in match betting.
Kakamega Homeboyz assistant coach Peter Okidi is the latest tactician to add his voice to the growing chorus of criticism levelled against the referees for betting.
Okidi, whose team succumbed to a 0-1 loss to title chasers Tusker through a disputed penalty on Friday afternoon in Mumias, told Nairobi News that Kenyan referees are becoming poorer at officiating due to the betting craze that has gripped the nation.
He further added that certain teams are affected by poor decisions more. Okidi now wants Football Kenya Federation and the league body to investigate the matter.
“It is a big problem because referees are placing bets on KPL matches. I am certain about that. In our game, for example, the referee awarded Tusker a soft penalty yet he ignored a number of bad fouls against us that should have also resulted in penalties,” Okidi said.
In the match, Homeboyz had done well to hold on to a 0-0 score against the former league champions until the 80th minute when referee Hosea Omondi awarded the penalty which Ghanaian striker Stephen Owusu converted.
“It is not a rant. If the goalkeeper had indeed committed a foul inside the box and a penalty was rightfully awarded, how come he wasn’t given a red card as per the laws governing that particular situation?” he posed.
Other KPL coaches that have recently expressed similar sentiments are Ivan Minnaert of AFC Leopards, Ushuru’s Ken Kenyatta, Muhoroni Youth’s James Omondi and Zedekiah Otieno of Posta Rangers.