KOBs’s initial request to Uganda Rugby Union demanding that Referee Ronald Wutimber be kept away from officiating their games, fell to deaf ears.
It has been established that KOBs had made a complaint last year about the ‘incompetency’ of Wutimber before this season’s controversial loss against Heathens.
In their letter then, KOBs stressed their belief in Ronald Wutimber being either biassed against them, or incompetent at officiating.
They proceeded to tell how incompetent officiating has a negative effect on them as a team competing locally, but also how the same has adversely affected the national team when it represents the country in international tournaments as players are bound to commit offences that are foregone locally in the international games and therefore, the reason for bad results.
They cited some specific instances where competent foreign referees took charge of local games and the said games ended peacefully, with both teams satisfied with the game result. Their reference is made to the game between KOBs and Rhinos in 2002 that was officiated by a Kenyan official.
If it is at all to be translated, they may be suggesting for foreign referees to be invited to officiate some of the local league games since they are believed to bear no bias.
As a result therefore, they requested the rugby union to stop assigning Mr Ronald Wutimber to their games.
It is important to note that referees undergo rigorous training and are held to a high standard of professionalism but even then, mistakes are human. KOBs though, believe that the referee in context seems to make them his “hobby” and in the end, costing them as a team.
And fast forward, the Union awarded the KOBs Vs Heathens game to their Referee of the year – Wutimber.
Wutimber made a call awarding Heathens a penalty in last play against KOBs, and later a Penalty Try after protests, costing KOBs crucial points to stay atop of the league table.
The call has since been investigated and noted to have been a wrong call, appropriate actions were taken by the union including suspending Wutimber for the rest of the season.