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Tusker boss Matano trains guns on ‘biased’ referee after Gor Mahia loss

By Cecil Odongo October 25th, 2023 2 min read

Tusker FC coach Robert Matano has opened a fresh can of worms on the subject of suspect officiating in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League.

Matano, a veteran coach in the league, has called on FKF to pick what he described as neutral referees in future matches pitting his team versus Gor Mahia.

Without sharing proof, the under-fire Matano complained that for the past three seasons, matches between Tusker and Gor have been titled to K’Ogalo’s favour by those he described as incompetent referees.

The sentiments came days after Tusker controversially lost 1-0 to Gor Mahia in an entertaining clash at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The controversial goal was netted by Gor Mahia striker Benson Omala via a glancing header following a cross from the left from Burundian midfielder Patrick Sibomana.

Omala however appeared to score the goal from an offside position.

And Matano claims the match referee of the day has twice denied his team a fair contest against Jonathan McKinstry’s side.

The referee, according to Matano, was in charge during Gor Mahia’s controversial 2-1 win over Tusker last season.

In that contest, Omala scored a penalty in the 84th minute to give K’Ogalo the winning goal. The match was punctuated with complaints from the Tusker bench and especially in the run-up to the winning goal.

In the same game, Sydney Otieno’s first goal was also a subject of debate after Gor Mahia’s Peter Lwasa hurriedly started an awarded foul before the referee blew the whistle at a time when Tusker players were still protesting the decision.

A minute before Gor was awarded that foul, Tusker players protested a dangerous foul on Deogratius Ojok which was ignored by the referee.

“The referee is a Gor Mahia fan and he has done injustice to us twice. Last season he showed open biases by warding a dubious penalty and a questionable free-kick which led to another Gor Mahia goal,” claimed Matano.

“We don’t want a Gor Mahia fan to be in charge of our matches.”

The veteran gaffer lamented that in the past three seasons officiating in his team’s matches against Gor has been wanting and claimed they are questionable.

“How is it only when we play Gor Mahia, then the referees get biased and get away with it? There must be something sinister. FKF should investigate Kobilo and other referees who spoil our football,” he added.

Separately, Matano is under fire after his employer publicly stated he could be sacked for the average performances witnessed by the team at the start of the season.

The coach responded to the comments, saying he does not fear the sack.

Tusker have emerged as Gor Mahia’s biggest rivals in the league in the past decade. in the 2022/2023 season, Gor had to wait until the last day to win the title with Tusker breathing down their necks.

Prior to that, Tusker has won two of the last five titles at the expense of Gor Mahia.

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