NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Three years since the High Court validated a decision by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Arbitration Tribunal to award Former AFC Leopards head coach Ivan Minnaert Sh2.6mn for unlawful termination of his contract, the Belgian tactician is yet to receive his full payment.
In an exclusive interview with Capital Sports Minnaert says he has only received Sh500,000 of the Sh2.6mn that the Tribunal awarded to him.
“Three years ago, the court ruled in our favor that what the Tribunal awarded us was legal. They gave us permission that we could block the club’s accounts but for me that is not what I want to do. It is better to find a friendly solution,” Minnaert told Capital Sport.
Minnaert joined Leopards in mid 2016 but lasted just a few months after being axed due to poor results. He took the matters to the Tribunal arguing that his sacking was unfair and demanded a payment of the entire period remaining in his contract, totaling to 18 months.
However, the Tribunal only awarded him six months’ pay worth Sh2.4mn while AFC were also ordered by the costs to pay him for the costs of the case, a total of Sh200,000.
Minnaert says he is still waiting on leopards to meet their end of the bargain.
In a separate interview with Capital Sports, AFC chairman Dan Shikanda says they are still working to resolve the matter.
“I have talked to him twice and this is something we are willing to settle. He was in the country and it is unfortunate he has had to go back before we talk but definitely we will find a solution and pay him his dues. We are facing a difficult time as a club and so it is not entirely easy,” Shikanda stated.
Minnaert however says he will patiently wait on a word from the club’s management and says he is in contact with Shikanda who was however not in power when Minnaert was sacked.
“We will try to find a good solution,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Belgian tactician says he does not regret his tenure at Ingwe and picks out his side’s 1-0 derby win over arch-rivals Gor Mahia as his best moment at the den.
“That was a memorable moment for me because we broke their unbeaten run and then we scored a goal straight from how we had been working in training; get the ball from the sides, into the area and score. I loved it,” the tactician notes.
He added; “I also loved the first game we won against Bandari. It was also the same way; get the ball to the side, into the area and then we scored. We played really well. For me, AFC is like home and I would love to come back but at the moment it is not possible.”
He has also challenged the club to find more sustainable ways of being competitive, key among them being the establishment of a vibrant youth structure as well as reducing the turnover of players in the team.
“Every time they want to change more than half of the players and it is not good. They need to find stability with at least 15 players who can stay there for many years and if it is to change maybe three or four players.”
“They also need to invest in youth so that they don’t have to go and buy expensive players every time. Instead, they should be developing players and making money through selling them,” the coach also opined.
Minnaert had been in the running for the vacant Zambia national team head coach, but all indications are that former Uganda boss Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic will be handed the role.
He however says he has several offers in Europe and Asia but will be making a decision on his next move in the next several days.