Rugby referee Richard Akena has been suspended by the Uganda Rugby Union following an unsatisfactory performance in the Uganda Cup semi finals.

Pirates controversially succumbed to a 32-25 loss to Heathens, a win that helped them book a final berth against Kobs who edged fighting Mongers 19-17.

Akena was in charge of the match that saw Pirates magically drop a 08-22 lead to lose and several inconsistencies in his calls seemed to play out advantage for Heathens.

Referee Richard Akena (clad in a green shirt), arguably one of Uganda’s best has been suspended by the Uganda Rugby Union © Kawowo Sports/AISHA NAKATO

Pirates fly half Ivan Magomu whose top and brilliant efforts elevated the rampant side in the opening half appeared to have been sent down the drain as Heathens launched a successful comeback.

According to post match rankings made by assessors; Richard Kirabira, Anne Sizomu, David Kirabira and Ramsey Olinga, Akena reportedly scored no single point.

The officials cited his failure to halt the encounter when he had sin binned a Pirates player and three props were down injured. He left play to proceed till Heathens crushed over.

Referee Manager Robert Bwali bitterly expressed his disappointment in Akena to New Vision faulting his recklessness and failure to gain full control of the game.

“I can excuse him additional time, but I cannot excuse him on the inconsistent calls he made in the game. As the country’s top referee he should have been in charge of the game,” he said.

Fans all over social media sarcastically branded Akena the man of the match after the duel, accusing him of how he intentionally had ‘soiled’ Pirates efforts.

Pirates captain Matthew Egeru lamented to Daily Monitor how unfair the events unfolded and echoed the same sentiments with the fans; “This is not how we should be losing after training so hard for games.”

Akena whose reputation is at stake at the moment, was handed a period of 168 hours to appeal to the Uganda Rugby Union Executive commitee or else the suspension remains, barring him from officiating the third place play off, shield and main cup final.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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