In Summary

The issue: Refereeing basics
Our view: Before a game of football, match officials must always inspect all corners of the nets to ensure that they are firm and strong. They also check the strengths of the goal posts. The routine is repeated at the beginning of the second half of every soccer match.

Last week, a debate raged on about whether Moses Waiswa’s free-kick for Vipers against Maroons was legitimate or not. The match, which ended in a 2-1 victory for the Venoms, has been a point of discussion in most football circles with the major issue revolving around the validity of Waiswa’s winner.
Television replays appear inconclusive and for fans who weren’t at the Prisons Ground and only watched the free-kick on the one-angled footage available, the strike by Waiswa appeared to have been pummelled out for a corner by Maroons goalkeeper Ashadu Bugembe.

Yet for the majority of fans who were at the ground, and in particular the ones who were viewing the game behind Ashadu’s net, the ball perfectly sailed through. But it not only went passed Ashadu, it also went through the inside of the net.
Accusations and counter-accusations have since been traded by both clubs, neutrals and fans of the beautiful game in the mess that shouldn’t have happened. A similar incident happened during URA’s 2-0 victory over Paidha Black Angels when Vitalis Tabu’s free-kick tore the inside of the net.

The only culpable parties here are the referees, who are still struggling to regain credibility after scandal-ridden episodes that blighted the end of the 2017-18 season. Before a game of football, match officials must always inspect all corners of the nets to ensure that they are firm and strong. They also check the strengths of the goal posts.
The routine is repeated at the beginning of the second half of every soccer match.

In fact match officials look at the state of the goal net, the ball, the field etc (all things that would affect the game-play or the score) to make sure the conditions are fair.
What happened in Luzira was down to poor officiating by Mashood Ssali and his assistants. It is clear they did not have a look at the nets before blowing for kick-off.

Had they inspected the net well, the loose area of the net which Moses Waiswa’s free-kick perforated would have been fastened. Maroons are also somewhat not innocent. As the home team, they should have provided goal nets worthy of their opening home match of the 2018-19 season. Instead they provided old, low quality nets.

The buck, however, stops with the officials.
Confidence in referees in the Uganda Premier League has taken a battering from events of last season and the long overdue findings of the commission of inquiry, which Fufa put in place to address allegations of match-fixing, can’t come sooner.
This season in many ways is a trial for the officials. They are in the dock.