Football Football

Koops still the top goose at Ingwe


NAIROBI, Kenya, September 25- Dutchman Jan Koops is still at the helm of AFC Leopards after club Secretary General Wilson Kituyi confirmed he was not suspended as earlier reported.

Koops was allegedly axed on Monday, barely two days after their 2-1 defeat to archrivals Gor-Mahia in a league derby played at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on which came after an identical loss to Western Stima in Nakuru.

“If you are here early enough, you must have seen him in control of the training, as far as we are concerned the coach (Koops) is still in charge, unless something is going to happen or its decided thereafter which we will let you know.

“The coach has a very clear job description, the results of a team doesn’t depend on one person, we can’t absolutely in one night decide to say its one person who is responsible,” stressed Kituyi during a press briefing on Tuesday.

“The chairman told me last night that there was not one second that I was not the coach of the Leopards. What I know is that some members of the executive committee made the decision but the chairman took it back.

“I have spoken with the team today and they have not given up. There are 15 points to fight for in the league and my team is able to win. My team showed in the second half that they are strong and I still believe in the team,” Koops said after conducting training at Nyayo National Stadium on Tuesday.

“I ask the supporters to be behind the team even when the results do not get well. I will talk with the chairman and executive committee about the technical bench since I do not want to talk about our relationship in public.

“Our goal remains to win the league and the cup and it will not be easy since other teams are also competing. What is happening will not affect our players but I know what happened yesterday (Monday) is not good,” the Dutchman underscored.

Kituyi also dismissed media reports that the executive committee had suspended the Dutchman with assistant coach Micky Weche taking over in acting capacity for three games as rumours.

“We don’t normally train on Monday, the players were given a day off after the derby and we were to have a meeting to discuss the events of that match.

“We are giving the coach all the support, if there is something happening with the technical bench, he should give us a comprehensive report on the same so that we can act,” the secretary who also rubbished allegations a conflict within the technical bench has been interfering with selection of players.

Skipper Martin Imbalambala stressed they were still in the hunt for the title despite slipping from top to third.

“We have no problem with the team and we just slipped a bit and we cannot blame the coach or the players. We are still in the race for the crown and problems in the technical bench do not affect the players.

“I have inquired whether there is a problem in the technical bench and just like anyone else, I heard the reports he had been suspended in the media. We are still motivated despite losing two games,” Imbalambala stressed.

Ingwe trail champions Tusker (48) and archrivals Gor (46) in the Tusker Premier League with 45 and they take on Muhoroni Sugar on Monday in their next fixture.