Comrades in football, I wish to add my voice to the debate on officiating in the lower divisions, having witnessed it with a birds eye view.
They say that you must make your peace and move on when things happen in life and that is the case in my opinion too, but it is hard to do so when they happen so repeatedly.
Issues need to be addressed once and for all.
First, I would like to appreciate the effort that the Football Kenya Federation has put in to try sanitize football in this country, though I can assure you they will not do much unless the participating teams commit to fair play through out.
Football is a passionate game and I am certain that you must have seen fans crying and complaining bitterly about refereeing decisions all over the world.. Be it in our local football or even on the international stage.
Officiating has been an issue that has been talked about previously, and will do so in future, but I would like to see more done about it, especially here locally because it is a major problem.
In the FKF Division One, particularly in Zone A, there are many problems which in my view we can find a way of working because it erodes all the good work that has been done, when they happen as often as they do.
Here are my thoughts on what could be done to reduce such issues in Zone A.
1. Have high quality referees from other areas officiate matches away from their home areas. While I know this has always been resisted, it must be implemented, even though teams have their own interests and this may not work out easily.
2. Now that all teams from Mombasa and Nairobi feel they are always disadvantaged while playing away from home, why can't the Nairobi and Mombasa teams play on their own and then we have a mini league of top teams at the end of the season to decide on promotion in a neutral area, say Nakuru.
3. Matches for both leagues must be played at one particular ground say Mbaraki and City Stadium taking advantage of the costs saved by this action and also to reduce on issues to do with officiating.
Having been in this game for a long time, I feel that the above can help ease the problems we have.
Federation must come in
It is up to the federation to do something about it and help lift standards in our league. If it improves, it means the lower leagues do the same, as well as the Premier League. It has an all-round effect at the end of the day.
All for the love and growth of the local game.