Wednesday February 28 2018

Under fire referees fear for own safety after attack on Mungoma

Thankless job.  Mungoma (C) makes a call

Thankless job. Mungoma (C) makes a call against Heathens during their league game against Pirates at Legends. Inset in Mungoma inside the Uganda Rugby Union (URU) office showing off the injury he suffered last weekend. PHOTOS BY EDDIE CHICCO 

By DEUS BUGEMBE

KAMPALA. In separate incidents this season, referees have been physically and verbally attacked by players and fans in the Nile Special Rugby Premiership.

This is not the first time that the torture of referees is happening in Ugandan rugby and the implicated men in the middle have come out fighting to ensure the trend ends for once and all this time round.
The measure of both verbal and physical abuse that is being endured by the officials in the league hit a new low on Saturday in Entebbe where Plascon Mongers were hosting Buzz Black Pirates.
Center referee Charles Mungoma and touch judge Jonathan Kyetume were on the receiving end of the hosts’ fans and some players, with CT scans recommended for the gravity of their injuries.
Daily Monitor has learnt that David Kirabira, the chairman of Kampala Association for Rugby Referees (KARR) under the referee council, has penned a missive to the Uganda Rugby Union (URU) executive and league management committees asking them to put in place measures ensuring their safety with immediate effect.

Dark cloud
“In the recent past, a very dark cloud has been slowly overlapping on the state of affairs in Uganda rugby. This sad occurrence has seen the recurrent and growing number of match officials either being assaulted and or abused,” reads the opening remark of the statement. Kirabira goes on to list what should be implemented to protect referees as some have vowed not to ever officiate a game at the ‘House of Pain’ in Entebbe, if none is put in place.

Crowd control
Kirabira demands that those responsible for Saturday’s mayhem are perpetrated in accordance to World Rugby regulations. The letter seen by Daily Monitor also requests that Uganda Police is present at games in Entebbe and that Mongers have also been compelled to have a crowd control mechanism for all games (for safety of not only match officials but other teams’ players). Mongers have compelled to officially write an apology for the violence unleashed this past weekend on two match officials.

dbugembe@ug.nationmedia.com

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