Heathens-KOBs Saga: Union Rules Against Replay

KOBs will not get a replay for their controversial loss against Heathens, per ruling released by the Uganda Rugby Union (URU).

This is after Heathens and Kobs encounter at Kyadondo which became mired in controversy after a controversial decision by the referee.

The particular incident occurred during the final moments of the game, (80+4 minutes) when the referee awarded a penalty to Heathens which gave them a late victory over Kobs on 1st April, 2023, after the game being tied at 12-all.

The decision was met with outrage by Kobs players and management, who felt that the referee had made a mistake. a

And despite their protests, the penalty was not overturned.

KOBs then prevented the penalty from being taken, an action that saw the referee, Ronald Wutimber award a Penalty Try to Heathens to win 19-12.

Kobs would then appeal to URU to nullify the game and hence have it replayed but to their dismay, there will be no replay of the game and the game result will stand.

URU decision

Following the game, the Rugby Union on Tuesday issued a statement in which they acknowledged the controversy surrounding the referee’s decision in addition to the events that transpired.

From a total of three meetings and furthered consultation from expert bodies, URU came to the conclusion that;

The match referee, Ronald Wutiber, be removed from active duty for the rest of the league season. During this time, he will undertake an extended officiating course to “improve his decision making and law application.”

The match validity be maintained and the result (19-12) in favour of Heathens, stands. URU explains this as a way of maintaining the match referee’s independence in managing the game.

A winning bonus point for Heathens as a result of the win points margin will be scrapped. This therefore translates into Kobs attaining a losing bonus point under the belief that there were higher chances of the awarded penalty being successful and Heathens would have won with a margin of three points (15-12).

Also, all parties that got themselves involved in disrupting the said match, are set to be referred to appropriate committees to be investigated and sanctioned as to be deemed appropriate.

In the statement, URU emphasised its efforts in taking fair action by undertaking paramount consultation from expert sides including World Rugby, Rugby Afrique, an independent panel of rugby experts and the Referee committee before drawing a deduction.

Ultimately, URU expressed its commitment to upholding the game’s standards and ensuring that the values of the game are maintained.

The decision will see Heathens maintain their position on the table (first) and Kobs who are level on points with Pirates, may get themselves a breather with the losing bonus point awarded to them.



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