NAIROBI, January 5 – With other SportPesa Premier League clubs beginning their pre-season in earnest, uncertainty still surrounds cash-strapped AFC Leopards, after the Douglas Simiyu led faction rubbished reports that the club has fired the entire technical bench and hired former coach, Jan Koops as the new tactician.
Simuyu was reacting after one of the local daily published a report that their rival group led by Mathew Opwora had appointed Koops with a directive issued by the Sports Disputes Tribunal.
On Tuesday afternoon, the two warring groups were summoned by their mediator Morris Ohaga who is the Sports Tribunal chairman to iron out the differences.
In the meeting that is ongoing, an Interim Management Committee consisting of three members from each faction will be constituted with Ohaga chairing the board that will oversee the club affairs for four month before elections are held.
“We have not hired anyone those are people who want to disrupt the process set up by the Sports Tribunal. We have already submitted three names from each side as ordered by the Tribunal who will be mandated to put the team together and make sure the club is running.
“AFC Leopards has not stopped; Trials are going on under the leadership of Ezekiel Akwana who will oversee the team until we conduct elections in May. As Interim Secretary General, I have not signed any letter of releasing players although some want to leave. Everything has been put on hold until we put our house in order,” Simiyu told Capital Sport.
Opwora who filed the petition at the Sports Tribunal sometimes back, leading to the postponement of the club’s election that were scheduled for December, on the other hand claimed the hiring of Koops was not officially announced although his group that consists of Suleiman Angulu and Morris Osundwa had recommended him.
“We are waiting for the Tribunal’s decision this afternoon (Tuesday) to give us direction that will see us reconcile and get things running. Many people proposed Koops to be the coach and we believe he is the best man.
“AFC Leopards will continue and we are looking to recruiting new players. I here Akwana is conducting Trials under whose instruction is he doing that. We will embark on registering members in the grassroots,” Opwora underscored.
The latest development could throw Ingwe’s pre-season into a spin even as they seek to improve on their last year nightmare where they finished sixth without silverware with managerial wrangles blamed for the team’s poor performance.