NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Former AFC Leopards head coach Ivan Minnaert is demanding a full payment amounting to Sh 7.3 million ($72,000) of the remaining 18 months of his contract, accusing the club of wrongful dismissal.
The Belgian tactician who is still in the country was sacked by Leopards on September 1 on ground of poor results, just seven months after joining the 13-time KPL champions from Rwandese side Rayon Sport, with the management citing poor results as the reason for his sacking.
However, Minnaert speaking to Capital Sport says the club’s management could not substantiate any claims leveled against him, and was seeking a win-win settlement over the 18 months remaining on his contract.
“They have told me nothing, every time just lies,” an agitated Minnaert told Capital Sport.
He has now forwarded the case to the Football Kenya Federation for arbitration and his legal team have already filed a written complain waiting for a hearing date.
“Our client’s belief is that he has been maliciously dragged through a stage managed disciplinary inquiry and the action to dismiss him was illegal, wrongful, unfair and inhumane,” Minnaert’s legal team said.
“As a result of the unlawful termination and unfair treatment he will suffer abrupt loss of income, damage to his reputation and expenses in staying in Kenya to follow up on his dues.”
In a rejoinder, the AFC Leopards management has said it is ready to prove their case if summoned by the Federation, insisting they followed due process in dismissing the Belgian tactician.
“We had a very clear agreement on the contract that if the results are not desirable, then we can terminate the contract. As a team we followed due process and paid him all the dues for his final month at work. In fact, he is still living in our house and using our car,” Ingwe deputy Secretary General Elijah Omung’ala told Capital Sport.
Capital Sport has learnt that apart from poor results, the Leopards management accused the tactician of lacking respect for his fellow technical bench members and players as well as failing to provide leadership for the playing unit.
Minnaert’s problems with Leopards started as far away as mid season when he made a massive clear out in the team, showing the door to 14 players as he sought to strengthen the side with new players.
The decision did not go well with a section of the management and further putting him into problems were the failed transfers of Emmanuel Imanishimwe and Ismaila Diarra both from Rayon Sport in Rwanda.
Minnaert’s goose seemed all but cooked after they were dumped out of the GOtv Shield, their only hope of silverware after suffering an embarrassing 3-0 loss at the hands of Western Stima.
In 20 league matches he was in charge, Minnaert picked up seven wins and an equal number of losses while drawing the other six. The team’s ambition to finish the top eight seemed deflated and they are placed 12th on the log on 29 points, five off the top eight.