The 2010 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and reigning Top 8 champions Ulinzi Stars’ chairman Col. Juma Shee Mwinyikai has registered his displeasure at the way Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has handled the saga involving referee Sylvester Kirwa who had been selected to officiate in the Top 8 final pitting the holders against Gor Mahia.
An obviously irked Mwinyikai, speaking to futaa.com, said the federation is clearly taking sides in the administration of the country’s football by acting on unfounded allegations just because it was Gor Mahia’s concern.
Kirwa has since been replaced in the match and Mwinyikai feels the move sets a bad precedent in Kenyan football as he puts it that every other team will now want a change if Kirwa is handed their game against Ulinzi.
-This is reducing Kenyan football to a level that we may not be able to reverse in future. If we say that in this league we start listening to just one team we will not move forward even an inch. All teams should be treated equally, he said.
-What will happen if in future every team said they don’t want Kirwa to officiate in their game with Ulinzi? This is a bad precedent and with the changes effected it is a clear indication as to who they want to win and not through soccer on the field but through other means, he said.
Mwinyikai highlighted the recent tight fixtures that Ulinzi Stars had been handed vis-a-vis Gor Mahia’s request in the run up to their abandoned Top 8 match with AFC Leopards as more reason that other teams are not treated as fairly.
-Just a few days ago we played four games in a very short span but we didn’t complain, neither did anyone feel we needed to be given a break. Last year when we came from the world championships we were forced to play four games in eight days. Gor Mahia on the other hand, decided that they can’t play us before playing AFC Leopards and our game was moved immediately, does this mean we are a lesser team?, he wondered.
He however, declared that despite all the machinations they will take on Gor in the Sunday game and beat them fairly.
-We have courted much success in recent times and it is because of our discipline but we will always stand firm in the face of wrong doing, like it is the case now, and one thing I can assure everyone is that we will step out onto that pitch on Sunday and beat Gor Mahia fair and square no matter who the referee is, he affirmed.