Postings on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter have landed Kenya Harlequin coach Charles Cardovillis (pictured) and temporary team manager Godfrey 'Jatelo' Okoth in trouble after referees lodged a complaint with the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).
Cardovillis and Goddy, as he is popularly known, are suspended from all rugby-related activities based on a judicial panel sitting held on Wednesday 21 August 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the misconduct hearing as stated by KRU.
Also read Quins question state of officiating
The suspensions come even after the panel - chaired by George Mbaye with Aggrey Chabeda as a member - failed to proceed to conclusion due to the fact that, as captured in the ruling; "The parties summoned seem to be seeking adjournment/postponement of the hearing. The panel however notes that the KRRA officials who were expected to prosecute their case today have not turned up."
Cardovillis released a statement on the evening of Saturday 27 July 2019 after day one of the Kabeberi 7s, via Kenya Harlequin social media pages, pointing out at "consistent questionable officiating."
"Rugby officiating in both the Kenya Cup and the Sevens’ series this year has been on a whole different level of horrific." he said in part
"Referees have determined the outcomes of games with poor calls on pivotal plays. When officiating changes a team’s W-L record, that should be a big concern to all key stakeholders of the game." added Cardovillis
His sentiments did not go down well with Kenya Rugby Referees Association (KRRA) - formerly Kenya Rugby Referees Society (KRRS) - who took full offence the lead up being launch of the case with KRU.
An introduction of the hearing at KRU on Wednesday states; "The charge emanates from an official complaint lodged by KRRA on the 30th of July 2019 through their Secretary-General Mr Alfred Okwemba regarding comments made by Kenya Harlequins as regards the conduct and handling of matches by its members,"
"The stated comments were posted on the official Twitter handle of Kenya Harlequins at 11:00 pm (EAT) on the 27th of July 2019. It was also posted on the club’s Facebook account."
When reached for a comment Mr.Okoth said "no comment" and would address the matter when the right time comes.
Kenya Harlequin Honorary Secretary Stanley Omino who was present at the Judicial hearing besides KRU's Technical director Thomas Odundo and Competition & Fixtures Secretary Michael Mwanja, told the judicial panel that; "The statement appearing on the purported club Facebook page did not represent the official club position."
He informed the panel that they had taken aback as their official club page is “Kenya Harlequins Rugby” of which he is an administrator."
The panel, in its last mile before calling off the hearing, based on absenteeism, commented on the no shows by Cardovillis and Okoth;
"We note Mr Cardovillis’s explanation for non – attendance. However, we take great exception of his failure to formally communicate the same in good time to allow the other participants time to reconsider attendance."
"With regard to Mr Okoth, the excuse is totally unacceptable to this panel. His failure to attend after he was summoned tends to reinforce the perception that has persisted in these judicial proceedings that the charges and the Panel have not been taken with the seriousness they deserve."
"We would like to state that this case touches on the serious and important issue of the interference of the work and core mandate of match officials who oversee KRU sanctioned tournaments in which the parties actively continue to participate."
With that said, Okoth and Cardovillis remain suspended.