By Feverpitch Reporter
The new chairman of the Kenya Referees Committee Hamisi Mwayoyo has promised to streamline the whistle blowers’ body to guarantee professionalism when the Nationwide Division One and Two leagues kick off on Saturday.
Last year, there were allegations of complacence and corruption by the referees and Mwayoyo has said this would end.
Kenya Revenue Authority last season complained after Mombasa-based clubs Congo United and Bandari were controversially promoted to the Kenyan Premier League. They declared the top clubs at the Nationwide League.
"There was a lot of unprofessionalism last season and I’m aware some match appointments were even done on phone. We have put stiff structures and we expect a different league this season," said Mwayoyo during a fitness-training test for the whistlers at the Stima Club, Nairobi, yesterday.
- 1 Expect electrocution, warns Stima coach
- 2 Sony Sugar and Thika United set final date
- 3 Tusker bottled
- 4 Sofapaka's tough task against Ismailia
"We have incorporated all the participating clubs to achieve the best results. We have formed a board to appoint referees two weeks before any match. Besides, we will be sending independent match assessors to all fixtures to give us feedback on the levels of officiating," said Mwayoyo promised not compromise on disciple in the league.
More than 160 referees turned out for the day-long Physical Endurance Test, but only 60 met the requirements.
"Our target is 60 referees and their assistants for the two leagues starting on Saturday. If any referee is found guilty of corruption or indiscipline, he would be given marching orders," said Mwayoyo referring to reports that a referee officiated a match last season while chewing khat.
The whistlers were taken through the exercise by veteran referee Alfred Ndinya.
"This league is the gateway to the KPL and we cannot take officiating for granted. We have to ensure high levels of officiating and that is why we are taking the referees through this test," said Ndinya.