The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Flanker Omer Lands 10-Week Suspension for Ref Abuse

Impala flanker Joel Omer has been handed a 10 week suspension for abuse of referee Constant Cap during the Kenya Cup tie between Impala and Western Bulls match on November 10.

Andrew Musangi, the judicial officer, ruled among other things, that: "On its own, verbal abuse of a referee will earn a player at the lower end up to a six-week ban.

When coupled with threats, this doubles to up to a 12-week ban. I have not had the advantage of hearing more details from the referee on the aspect of the direct threats and therefore I am disadvantaged in making a conclusive finding on the said issue, but it is noted that the player did not deny the words used. On the face of it, the player's conduct is wholly unacceptable and must attract severe sanction" Musangi added.

Omer who was captain of the day abused the referee after he disallowed a "legitimate looking" try in the match which would have tied the match with the Bulls in the second half.

The ban will be a huge blow for the former Kenya Cup champions who have lost their three opening fixtures this season. Impala lost 15-0 to Nondies, 21-14 to Western Bulls and last weekend went down 24-18 to Mwamba.

In another ruling Richard Sidindi of Impala RFC has had his red card by Constant Cap set aside on being mistakenly identified by assistant referee Collins Wekesa. Sidindi got the card in the same match.

Musangi said, "As a consequence of the error aforementioned, we reached a finding contrary to the Refereee's decision. In so doing, I state that the referee's decision ought not to have been a red card for player number 14 (Sidindi) as he did not commit the offence and was mistakenly identified. I thus direct that this player will serve no ban at all and can resume playing rugby for his club with immediate effect."

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