Why top referee has declined officiating AFC Leopards matches
A top Kenyan referee has asked to be excused from handling football matches involving AFC Leopards.
Nairobi News understands Andrew Juma has as a matter of fact declined to officiate Saturday’s league match featuring Leopards and Chemelil Sugar in Kisumu.
According to soka25East, the referee has cited lack of trust by the club officials for his decision.
This situation, he claims, has been simmering on for the past few seasons, but was apparently aggravated during last Tuesday’s Hull City Challenge match between Leopards and Gor Mahia at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
Juma was the fourth official during the match that ended in a stalemate before Gor carried the day 5-4 in post-match penalties.
“I am available for any other appointment but not one involving Leopards. I acknowledge the appointment but I am forced to decline it because Leopards officials were clearly not comfortable when I was appointed to officiate the Hull City Challenge match in Nakuru and yet I was only a fourth official,” Juma stated in a letter to KPL’s chief executive Jack Oguda.
What Juma doesn’t explain however – is that he is sibling to Gor Mahia’s first choice keeper, Boniface Oluoch, who featured for the league champions for nearly 90 minutes in the match before being replaced with Shaban Odhoji in the final moments.
Juma has in the past officiated a number of matches involving Leopards, only to come under a backlash owing to his links with Oluoch and to an extent, Gor Mahia.