NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – Kenyan Premier League side AFC Leopards has been ordered by the Football Kenya Federation appeals board to compensate former coach Ivan Minnaert with a six month salary sum amounting to Sh2.4mn for unlawful dismissal.
The Belgian coach through his lawyers presented his case to the board saying he was unlawfully relieved of his duties after he was sacked by the club on September 1 over poor performance.
In a 29-page ruling, the tribunal chaired by Bernard Murunga argued that the club failed to substantiate any of their allegations towards the Belgian tactician while Minnaert argued that most of the results termed ‘undesirable’ were not of his own making.
“From our analysis, the club did not set any written targets for the coach other than achieving desirable results as indicated in the employment contract,” the tribunal listed down on its findings.
Minnaert had asked to be refunded the full amount of the 18 months remaining in his initial two year contract but the tribunal ruled that it was an excessive period as it pre supposed that the coach would not work at all during the 18 months.
Another issue raised during the hearing was the unclear contract signed between Minnaert and the club with the tribunal questioning why there was no start date written on it.
“The match against Bandari Football Club according to press reports was played on March 2, 2016 and it is fair to presume that the coach took his position after signing the contract in late February 2016 even though none of the parties dated the contract,” the Murunga-led hearing board ruled.
“We therefore confirm that the coach was duly employed by the Club under the terms of the undated contract as having commenced work at the Club as the head coach for a period of at least six months when his services were terminated on 31st August 2016.”
Minnaert was pleased with the tribunal’s decision but termed his six month stint at AFC Leopards as ‘the worst experience’ in his career.
“The decision from the tribunal has vindicated me, that I was truly dismissed wrongly. It is good that AFC Leopards know they need to deal professionally. I will put all the bad things behind and try to remember the positives including the fans who are great but suffering because of the management,” Minnaert stated.
This is not the first time AFC Leopards are facing trouble with a former coach as they were also asked to pay former coach Dutchman Pieter de Jongh Sh1.5mn over the same issue of unlawful termination of services.