NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 11 – Kenya Harlequins head coach Charles Cardovillis and Team Manager Godfrey Okoth have been handed a 12-week ban by the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) over social media comments attributed to them criticizing match officials.
Disciplinary action had started on the duo after a complaint made to the Union’s Independent Judicial Commission by the Kenya Rugby Referees Union after a statement criticizing the match officials’ decision was posted on the club’s Twitter and Facebook handles.
The two, according to the KRU rules were set to be banned for 24 weeks (six months) but the same was reduced by half as they were first offenders. The other 12 weeks will be suspended.
“In view of the provisional suspension served, their conduct during the hearing and no evidence of previous misconduct, the Committee reduced that suspension by fifty percent (50%) to 12 weeks from the effective date provided that the 1st and 2nd Persons shall not be in breach of Regulation 20 during this period (the full 24 weeks),” a statement from the Union signed by judicial chair George Mbaye said
Should the Persons be found in breach during this period, the sanction shall be applied in full,” Mbaye added.
According to the charge by the Referees’ a statement was posted on Quins’ social media pages after the Kabeberi leg of the national sevens series criticizing their performance.
“Referees have determined the outcomes of games with poor calls on pivotal plays. When officiating changes a team’s W-L record, that should be a big concern to all key stakeholders of the game. The referee officiating body has been consistently tone-deaf to the growing concern regarding the state of its core of referees and their competence in game situations,” the statement read in part.
In his defense, Cardovillis stated he neither authored the statements nor posted them, but according to the commission’s findings, the tactician indeed instructed the same to be published.
Okoth as well was also cited for his postings on social media, but in his defense, said he was only taking part in ‘banter’ and not actual criticism aimed at anyone. However, the Judicial Commission also shot down his defense.
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