Soroti Referees Abandon COPA Matches over Security

Soroti district referees have resolved not to officiate at the COPA Coca Cola Post Primary football tournament until their security can be guaranteed.
The decision was reached during a referees meeting held at Soroti Sports Ground at 7:54 pm on Thursday.
The 12 referees who attended the meeting said they were uncomfortable officiating at matches where their security was not guaranteed.
The referees noted that their colleagues had even lost property on Thursday while officiating at a match. The referees lost their property during a match between Soroti SS and Teso College Aloet at 3:00pm.

Some of the stolen property includes a mobile phone, 37,000 shillings, bags containing referee’s costumes, three pairs of shoes, and identity cards among others.

The property in question is believed to have been mixed with the property of Soroti Senior Secondary School students.

The referees resolved not to officiate at any Copa Coca Cola matches until security is deployed at the three sports grounds used for competitions.

The referees’ on Thursday declined to officiate at the match between Soroti SS and Municipal SS that was supposed to be played at 5:00 pm.

Chairperson Soroti district referees, Joseph Ochom told URN that the referees had earlier on resolved not to officiate any match that involves Soroti SS.

Ochom said the referees were especially concerned as the tournament’s organising committee did not acknowledge in writing the referee’s loss of property.
He pointed out that on Tuesday they were assaulted and survived being lynched at Soroti Municipal stadium.
Ochom said that if the committee decided to go ahead with the torunament, they should hire referees from other districts.

Games teacher, Soroti Senior Secondary School, Steven Patrick Olupot told URN that, he could not comment on the matter because he had not received communication from the organizing committee.

FUFA delegate, Soroti district, John Odongo said it was wrong for referees to handle matches without security.

Daniel Otim, one of the referees whose property was stolen, said he would never officiate at a match until he recovered his property.
The secretary COPA Coca Cola post Primary in Soroti, James Peter Eritu said their committee would carry out investigations in the matter.

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