Grace Adhiambo, a Kenya Lionesses player, has strongly criticized Scottish referee Finlay Brown for what she described as poor officiating during their Africa Sevens loss to South Africa in Tunisia on Sunday.
Despite their 12-7 loss to South Africa, Adhiambo believes that they could have had a shot at securing an automatic spot in next year’s Olympics if the referee had not made an error.
“The girls really wanted it and we pushed ourselves through the end. As much as we lost that game, we did not lose because we were tired but we lost the game because of the referee’s mistake,” said Adhiambo.
She also claimed is was a clear knock- out and was evident by everyone who witnessed it.
“It was a clear knock-on, everyone saw it, he just played it on, and continued playing. You can go and watch the game and see if it was okay.”
Nadine Roos secured the first try for South Africa, granting her team a 5-0 advantage at halftime.
After halftime, the Lionesses displayed an aggressive approach.
Their persistence paid off as Sharon Auma managed to evade three opponents and score, with Grace Odhiambo converting to give them a 7-5 lead.
As the game remained closely contested, it seemed like there was a knock-on before Maria Thshiremba dashed to the try line, scoring for South Africa.
This sealed the 12-7 victory for South Africa.
It was a disappointing end for Kenya who had hoped to secure Olympic qualification for for the second consecutive time.
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Even though there is still a chance through the repechage, it will be more challenging.
The repechage will be held in Monaco in June next year pitting teams from the rest of the regions who missed out on direct qualification.