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Vipers, Villa coaches question refereeing

AUPL result

Vipers SC 1-0 SC Villa

Tom Masiko’s 30th minute free-kick handed Vipers all three points against SC Villa on Saturday but the game at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende did not go without controversies.

The match attracted as much attention from the two teams’ display as that of referee Alex Muhabi. Muhabi is widely considered one of the better referees in the country.

Both coaches, Miguel da Costa of Vipers and Wasswa Bbosa of Villa, had misgivings about officiating, with the former also questioning the conduct of Villa players.

“First 20 minutes we controlled the game, then after we were not positioned well,” said Da Costa.

“Second half we were playing nine against 11, players trying to take advantage of the referee.”

However, the major talking point stemmed from what a number of Villa fans deemed was a handball inside the penalty box.

Vipers defender Shafik Bakaki appeared to handle a Joseph Nsubuga ball into the forbidden area at the stroke of half time, and when Muhabi did not point to the spot, hell broke loose.

“I see people complaining about one penalty decision but I’m not complaining about the other two decisions that we were supposed to get,” Da Costa said of the earlier two incidents he thought shiu.

What followed were strong Villa protestations both on and off the pitch, resulting into Villa fans’ destruction of metallic barriers.

“The referee could not book our players because he was guilty of failing to make a very important decision,” argued Villa coach Bbosa.

“But I’m happy with the team’s performance. They did what they could in the circumstances.”

Goalkeeper Samson Kirya, who charged 70 metres from his goal, led the protestations but was surprisingly not booked, even when he appeared to shove the referee, Muhabi.

Victory moved Vipers level on seven points with Police, who lead the table by virtue of a superior goal difference after three games.

Defeat, their first of the campaign, ensured Villa remained on four points.

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