Kenya: Family of Killed Referee Accuse Police of Sheilding Suspect

The family of a football referee who was allegedly killed by a player during a match have accused the police of failing to arrest the suspect.

Joseph Chang,aa Okwoyo, a 65-year-old ref, was punched in the face last week by the footballer after awarding a penalty during a local match in Kisii, leading to his death.

Frank Okwoyo, son of departed referee said: “Police at Ibacho police station are reluctant to arrest the suspect who confronted our father and killed him. We have heard that police officers are colluding with the suspect’s family to cover up the matter.”

The family charged that the police caught up with the suspect, but released him without any charges.

Okwoyo was officiating a match between Ichuni Junior and Aspire FC at Gesabakwa playing ground as the first assistant referee.

The player who allegedly attacked his father leading to the unfortunate death was not playing for either of the two teams but had come to support Ichuni Junior.

Ichuni Junior were leading 1-0 at when Aspire were awarded a penalty in the second half that they took full advantage of to equalise.

Irate fans

This is what prompted the player, who was among the irate fans, to assaulted Okwoyo with others on the touchline, according to Kisii County Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Secretary Evans Mageka. Okwayo collapsed and was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

On Saturday, Kisii County police commander Jebel Munene told Nation that they were following crucial leads to nab the suspect.

When reached for a comment Wednesday, Munene said they were confident they would apprehend the man.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure the suspect is brought to book,”he said.

A postmortem was set for Wednesday at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) with burial scheduled for next Friday at his rural home in Nyaibisa village, Nyaribari Masaba Constituency


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