NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2- AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano has been asked to step aside from the team until after a meeting with the Executive Committee on Tuesday over what the club has termed as ‘indiscipline’ and concerns over the team’s performance.
Also, midfielder Collins ‘Gattuso’ Okoth has been suspended from the club pending an outcome of the same meeting over indiscipline and has been asked to show cause why action should not be taken against him.
“What we have done is asked Matano to step aside from the team until Tuesday when he meets with the Executive Committee. I cannot divulge the details exactly but what I can say is that the issues revolve around discipline and performance of the team,” AFC Leopards Secretary General Oscar Igaida told Capital Sports.
On Okoth’s case, Igaida explained that the midfielder failed to train with the rest of the team while in Madagascar for their CAF Confederations Cup tie against FOSA Juniors.
“He was staying in the same hotel with everyone else but when it came to training, he was missing in action. He also failed to turn up for training when the team returned from Madagascar. His seven days to show cause why expires on Tuesday and from there we will take appropriate action,” Igaida added.
AFC Leopards were dumped out of the Confederations Cup on the away goal rule after a 1-1 aggregate result over FOSA while they have played three games in the league losing, one drawing the other and winning one.
“We have an agreement with the coach that we should be reviewing the performance every five matches. AFC is a team which should be in the first round of the Confederations Cup and as at now, we should be talking of three games and three wins. We just want to find out why the team is not doing well,” Igaida said.
He added; “There are also issues with discipline both from the technical bench and the playing unit as well.”
-Kitambi to temporarily take charge-
His assistant Dennis Kitambi will temporarily take charge of the team in training and for their Kenyan Premier League tie against Sony Sugar on Sunday in Awendo.
Matano joined the team in July last year from National Super League side Bidco United and helped them to the GOtv Shield title as well as safely guarding them to safety against the relegation axe.
However, Ingwe are not new to the circus of hiring and firing coaches as they have had close to 20 men at the helm since their return to top flight football in 2009.
Last year, they had Stewart Hall in the beginning, then Romanian Dorin Marian who lasted only two weeks and replaced by Tom Juma before Matano came on board.