Crowd violence and accusations of foul play marred a match between Masindi Town Council FC and KCC FC yesterday evening.
The game, which ended in a 2-1 victory for KCC was not the finest moment for football fans in Masindi, who repeatedly heckled, hurled abuse and threw stones at the match officials and players.
KCC's Anthony Bongole scored into Masindi net shortly before the close of the first half. A few minutes later Sendi Twaha of Masindi was granted a penalty kick, despite much protest by KCC, leveling the match at 1-1.
KCC made a strong comeback in the second half of the game and in the 70th minute, Owen Kasule scored for his side, ending the premature celebrations for the Masindi fans. It was at that point that tempers began to rise in the stadium.
The match referee, Shei Matovu, was forced to end the game eight minutes before stoppage time when he and several KCC players were pelted with sticks and stones. The police were forced to intervene, escorting the KCC players and referees out of the stadium and guarding them for 40 minutes after the game.
The KCC FC players were perturbed by the violence. Team coach, Jackson Mayanja, blamed the referee and his poor officiating for the violence. He said that referees like Shei Matovu are causing the degeneration of football in Uganda.
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Aggravating the situation was the conspicuous absence of Richard Amatre, coach of the relegation-threatened Masindi FC. Sources, whose information hasn't been independently verified, say Amatre was involved in a heated argument with some of the Masindi Town Council officials who blamed the club's poor performance on him.
Masindi lies last on the national super league table and chances that it will retain its place on the league are dwindling every day.
Yesterday's game marked two successive victories for KCC FC in Masindi town. On Tuesday evening KCC beat Kinyara FC by one goal to nil.